U.S. relocates personnel from embassy in Baghdad, consulate in Irbil

U.S. relocates personnel from embassy in Baghdad, consulate in Irbil

Following a dozen airstrikes from the U.S. military in Northern Iraq this weekend, the U.S. State Department on Sunday relocated “a limited number” of staff from the American consulate in Erbil.

The staff members will be transferred to the U.S. consulate in Basrah, Iraq and to Amman, Jordan, State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

Earlier Sunday, a State Department travel warning issued for Iraq also said that an unspecified number of staff members from the U.S. embassy in Baghdad also were being relocated. …

The reductions in Erbil were instituted “in light of the security situation in Iraq and as part of the State Department’s ongoing review of staffing requirements there,” Ms. Harf said. U.S. warplanes have been defending the city against advancing militants taking part in an offensive by the group calling itself the Islamic State, which has seized large swaths of Iraqi territory. …

Both the embassy in Baghdad and consulate general in Erbil remain open. A State Department official declined to specify the number of staff stationed in Erbil or how many were being relocated. 

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