U.S. Evacuates Non-Emergency State Dept. Personnel from Iraq

State Department Iraq Iran evacuation

But this week, as a series of provocations appeared to raise the possibility of conflict, it looks increasingly like the United States itself may be increasingly isolated.

"They have no business declaring a war without the consent of Congress", she said.

Chris Ghika, deputy commander of the global coalition against the Islamic State group, told reporters that measures in place to protect USA forces and their allies from Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria were "completely satisfactory".

The IRGC is directly controlled by the Islamic regime's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Salami was named its head last month.

Traditional US allies such as Australia and Canada have remained quiet.

Illustrative: Fishermen in waters off Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, near the Strait of Hormuz, on May 30, 2012.

The U.S. State Department on Wednesday said it was withdrawing all non-emergency staff from its Baghdad embassy and its consulate in Erbil.

The countries announced the move Wednesday just hours after the USA ordered all non-essential, non-emergency government staff to leave Iraq immediately.

Despite worldwide skepticism, the USA government has been pointing to increasing threats from Iran, a long-time enemy and rival of U.S. allies Israel and Saudi Arabia.

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United States government officials accused Iran - or its proxies - of "sabotaging" four oil tankers near the UAE over the weekend, despite the fact that an investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Do we know anything about the alleged threat?

That war was sold to the American people based on a series of lies about weapons of mass destruction. The 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq took place without the backing of the United Nations and was later dubbed illegal by Secretary-General Kofi Annan. "The much more appropriate analogy is Iraq 2011".

One American official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential internal planning, said the new intelligence of an increased Iranian threat was "small stuff" and did not merit the military planning being driven by Mr. Bolton. Anti-U.S. sectarian militias may also threaten U.S. citizens and Western companies throughout Iraq.

The attack on the tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, through which one fifth of the world's oil consumption flows, appeared created to test the resolve of the United States and its Sunni Muslim allies without triggering a war, analysts said.

Iran, for its part, has designated all U.S. troops stationed in the region as terrorists. But even that strikes many allies as a risky proposition. "All sides, views, and policies are covered", he said.

President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement past year and is ratcheting up sanctions on Iran, aiming to strangle its economy by ending its worldwide sales of crude oil.

Also on Wednesday, Germany - which has 160 soldiers in Iraq - suspended military training operations, citing increasing regional tensions, while the Netherlands suspended a mission providing assistance to Iraqi local authorities, Dutch news agency ANP said. The joint statement by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Norway does not say who they suspect was responsible. But other than Netanyahu, these parties have kept quiet this week.

"This is an imminent threat to our personnel", said a second official. A satellite image obtained by The Associated Press shows one of the two pumping stations attacked by the drones apparently intact.

A senior Iranian official said on Wednesday that any conflict in the region will have "unimaginable consequences".

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