State Department Orders Non-Essential U.S. Government Employees Out Of Iraq

Posted by Laurel Wamsley

Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

The State Department ordered non-emergency U.S. government employees out of Iraq on Wednesday. A helicopter carrying U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is seen taking off from Baghdad International Airport last week.

The State Department has ordered all “non-emergency” U.S. government employees to leave Iraq right away.

The travel advisory specifically orders the departure of employees at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad and consulate in Erbil, noting that “normal visa services will be temporarily suspended at both posts.”

Employees were urged to depart the country by commercial transportation as soon as possible and avoid U.S. facilities within Iraq.

It was not immediately clear what led to the order on Wednesday. The advisory instructs U.S. citizens not to travel to Iraq due to high risks of terrorism, kidnapping, and armed conflict.

The State Department warns that “the U.S. government’s ability to provide routine and emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq is extremely limited.”

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit