News ID: 263873
Published: 0209 GMT January 03, 2020

US embassy in Baghdad urges Americans to leave Iraq after assassination of Soleimani

US embassy in Baghdad urges Americans to leave Iraq after assassination of Soleimani

The US Embassy in the Iraqi capital Baghdad has urged all American citizens to immediately leave the country following the assassination of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, which was carried out by US forces on the orders of President Donald Trump.

“Due to heightened tensions in Iraq and the region, the US Embassy urges American citizens to heed the January 2020 Travel Advisory and depart Iraq immediately,” the embassy said in a statement on Friday , Presstv Reported.

“US citizens should depart via airline while possible, and failing that, to other countries via land,” the statement added.

The statement also warned US citizens “not to approach the embassy", adding that the US consulate general in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, would be open for appointments.

Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), were killed in US airstrikes in the Iraqi capital Baghdad early on Friday.

The IRGC confirmed in a statement that Soleimani and al-Muhandis were martyred in the attack carried out by US helicopters. The Iraqi pro-government group also confirmed the incident.

The US Defense Department confirmed the strike, saying it came "at the direction of the president". 

US Democratic leaders in both chambers of Congress expressed outrage over Trump's ordered strike, saying the Republican president did not obtain congressional approval.

US Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has condemned Trump for ordering the assassination, warning that the killing will destabilize the region and puts the US on the path to another war.

“When I voted against the war in Iraq in 2002, I feared it would lead to greater destabilization of the region," Sanders tweeted on Thursday. ‘That fear unfortunately turned out to be true.”

“The US has lost approximately 4,500 brave troops, tens of thousands have been wounded, and we’ve spent trillions [in Iraq],” Sanders added.

"Trump's dangerous escalation brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars. Trump promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one."

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