The State Department urged Americans to leave Iraq due to “heightened tensions” following the death of top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.
The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that President Donald Trump’s Defense Department ordered a U.S. military airstrike that killed Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force. Following Soleimani’s death, the State Department urged Americans to leave Iraq and suspended all consular operations.
“Due to heightened tensions in Iraq and the region, we urge U.S. citizens to depart Iraq immediately,” the State Department said in a tweet. “Due to Iranian-backed militia attacks at the U.S. Embassy compound, all consular operations are suspended. U.S. citizens should not approach the Embassy.”
#Iraq: Due to heightened tensions in Iraq and the region, we urge U.S. citizens to depart Iraq immediately. Due to Iranian-backed militia attacks at the U.S. Embassy compound, all consular operations are suspended. U.S. citizens should not approach the Embassy. pic.twitter.com/rdRce3Qr4a
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) January 3, 2020
Soleimani was “actively developing plans” to attack both American service members in Iraq and American diplomats in Iraq, the Pentagon said Thursday.
The airstrike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who is the leader of Kata’ib Hezbollah or the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), the group that attempted to storm the U.S. embassy in Baghdad on Dec. 31, 2019.
The State Department did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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