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Friday, January 3, 2020

US Orders Citizens To Flee Iraq ‘Immediately’ As Tehran Vows Revenge

US citizens in Iraq have been told to leave the country immediately in the wake of the air strike which killed senior Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani amid concerns the situation could escalate into a full-blown war.

The United States killed Iran's top general, regarded as the architect of Tehran's proxy wars in the Middle East in an airstrike at Baghdad's international airport on Friday ordered by US President Donald Trump. The attack dramatically increases already heightened tensions in the region.

An advisory posted by the embassy stated: "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. U.S. citizens should depart via airline while possible, and failing that, to other countries via land.

"Due to Iranian-backed militia attacks at the US Embassy compound, all public consular operations are suspended until further notice.

Earlier the Pentagon said in a statement: "At the direction of the president, the US military has taken decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad by killing Qassem Soleimani.

"This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans."

US officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Mr Soleimani was killed in a drone strike.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards said he was killed in an attack by American helicopters.

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