Publicado: Vie, May 17, 2019
Global | Por Milagro Delgado

U.S. asks non-essential government staff to leave Iraq

U.S. asks non-essential government staff to leave Iraq

Tehran has called the USA military presence "a target" rather than a threat, and said it would not allow its oil exports to be halted.

An alert on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad said all nonessential, non-emergency U.S. government staff were told to leave Iraq immediately under State Department orders.

Trump is sending an aircraft carrier group, B-52 bombers and Patriot missiles to the Middle East to counter what the United States calls a heightened threat from Iran to USA soldiers and interests in the region.

Washington though has been vague about the specifics of the intelligence it has that allegedly indicates Tehran's plans to hit USA personnel.

"The threat is real", said Democrat Sen.

"There is no doubt in my mind that under the circumstances, a partial ordered departure is a reasonable thing to do".

Iraq is one of the only countries that has close relations with both the United States and Iran.

"It would be an act of gross negligence if we did not take the necessary precautions in the light of credible threat streams", said one of the unnamed officials who briefed reporters on Wednesday, on the department's condition of anonymity.

"But this threat is serious and we want to reduce the risk of harm".

The aircraft carrier strike group is being deployed to the Persian Gulf to counter an alleged but still-unspecified threat from Iran.

Opponents of Trump say that hardliners led by national security advisor John Bolton, who has long advocated toppling the Iranian government, are pushing the country into war.

Iran calls that "psychological warfare", and a British commander cast doubt on U.S. military concerns about threats to its roughly 5000 soldiers in Iraq, who have been helping local security forces fight Islamic State jihadists.

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More than three days on, little information has been provided on where the ships were when they were attacked, what sort of weapon was used, and who did it. Iraq is home to powerful pro-Iranian militias, while also hosting more than 5,000 USA troops. British deputy commander of the anti-Daesh coalition, Major General Christopher Ghika, was quoted saying yesterday that Iran was not upping aggression through the militias it backs.

"The message from the Americans was clear".

Separately, the Netherlands' defense ministry said it was suspending a training mission in Iraq due to "threats", according to the Dutch ANP news agency.

The European Union and the foreign ministers of Germany, France, and Britain said they were still committed to the deal but would not accept ultimatums from Tehran.

"This face-off is not military because there is not going to be any war", he assured officials.

On Trump's call for talks with the Islamic Republic, the article cited US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's remarks on regime change in Iran.

"So far we notice the continued escalation of tensions around this subject", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, a day after Pompeo met with President Vladimir Putin.

"As we pointed out previously, Mr. Trump is in danger of being cornered into choosing between a counterproductive use of force and allowing Iran to cross red lines".

It's not evident that President Trump has a desire to send so many USA troops to the region.

Headlines this week might make you think President Trump is itching for war with Iran. "That's Congress's job - and that's why I'm supporting this legislation to prevent a war with Iran".

Pelosi said Trump has "no business" moving toward a Middle East confrontation without approval from Congress.

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