Washington orders some USA government employees to leave Iraq

Cheryl Sanders
May 16, 2019

The State Department warns that "the USA government's ability to provide routine and emergency services to US citizens in Iraq is extremely limited".

"Abu Dhabi wants these actions", Karasik said of the tension with Iran, "and Saudi [Arabia] tags along". The sources were not authorized to discuss the matter and were granted anonymity.

The US escalated its rhetoric against Iran in recent weeks, moving the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Arabian Gulf.

Last week, National Security Adviser John Bolton announced that a USA aircraft carrier strike group, B-52 bombers and a Patriot missile battery would be deployed to the region in response to intelligence suggesting Iran or its proxies are preparing to target US interests. Trump himself denied a report Tuesday that the administration had reviewed a plan to send 120,000 troops.

This is far from the first time the US has made changes to its diplomatic posture in Iraq.

Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika said in a briefing to the Pentagon "there's been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces" in the region, according to The Guardian.

"This face-off is not military because there is not going to be any war". He said he had never seen anything like the "non-answers" coming from the administration.

It contradicted a British general who had said there was "no increased threat".

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. But, he said, "The administration is doing a awful job of consulting with Congress and keeping the vast majority of members of Congress informed about what's happening".

The U.S. State Department said employees at both the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and its consulate in Erbil, capital of semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, were being pulled out immediately due to safety concerns.

Ahead of a surprise trip to Baghdad last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters it is his job to keep diplomats and U.S. Embassy personnel.

Several Democrats pinned the sudden moves in part on national security adviser John Bolton, known for his hawkish views. Some have suggested Pompeo and Bolton don't see eye-to-eye on the US strategy, and Trump found it necessary to comment on that.

The Trump Administration has spent years trying to convince United States allies that the global community needed to isolate Iran.

"Different opinions are expressed and I make a decisive and final decision - it is a very simple process", Trump tweeted.

Speaking in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi on Tuesday, Pompeo assured Russian Federation that his country did not want war with Iran, despite a spike in tensions that has seen the Pentagon dispatch nuclear-capable bombers to the region.

Democrats in Congress demanded that the Trump administration brief them on what it considers to be the Iran threat, warning that the U.S. legislature has not approved military action against Tehran. "The American people should know, we've done that", he said.

Republican Rep. Will Hurd of Texas, who is a former Central Intelligence Agency officer, said the administration's information on Iran is highly sensitive and by nature can not be shared with a wide audience.

Pelosi warned that the administration can not rely on the most recent use-of-force authorization approved by Congress almost 20 years ago for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But he also said, "Neither we, nor them is seeking war".

The official also said the ultimate goal of the yearlong economic sanctions campaign by the Trump administration was to draw Iran into an armed conflict with the United States.

Other reports by iNewsToday