(CNN) – The U.S. Department of State He urged US citizens on Friday to leave Iraq immediately after an air strike ordered by President Donald Trump that killed Qasem Soleimani, a key Iranian military commander, at Baghdad International Airport.
“Due to rising tensions in Iraq and the region, we urge American citizens to leave Iraq immediately,” the State Department tweeted.
They also warned that citizens “should not approach” the embassy in Baghdad and that all consular operations are suspended “due to attacks by Iran-backed militias in the Embassy complex of U.S“. The Green Zone in Baghdad, which includes the U.S. Embassy, was completely closed by Iraqi security forces to avoid any emergency after the attack, two Iraqi security sources told CNN.
The State Department announcement comes hours after Trump ordered the air strike that killed Soleimani, who was the head of the Quds Force unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). ) and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization backed by Iran Forces (PMF).
The assassination of the main military leader marks a major escalation in the tensions facing Tehran against the United States and Washington’s allies in the region.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, promised reprisals for the murder and said “a strong revenge awaits the criminals” involved.
Earlier this week, protests broke out in front of the US embassy. UU. in Baghdad after US forces carried out air strikes at five facilities in Iraq and Syria that, he said, were linked to a group backed by Iran.
Trump blamed Iran for Tuesday’s attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and warned Iranian leaders that they would be responsible for any death or destruction at the embassy.
According to a statement from the State Department, the US Consulate General UU. In Erbil, in northern Iraq, it will remain open for visas and appointments from the US Citizens Service.
The French government also warned its citizens to stay away from any meeting in Iran. On Friday, a statement on the website of the French Embassy advised to remain “prudent and discreet.”
It also recommends that people do not take photos in public spaces.