The State Department urged Americans to leave Iraq because of “heightened tensions” following the death of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.
The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that President Donald Trump’s Defense Department ordered a U.S. military airstrike that killed Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force.
In the wake of Soleimani’s death, the State Department urged Americans to leave Iraq and suspended all consular operations.
“Due to heightened tensions in Iraq and the region, we urge U.S. citizens to depart Iraq immediately,” the State Department said in a tweet.
“Due to Iranian-backed militia attacks at the U.S. Embassy compound, all consular operations are suspended. U.S. citizens should not approach the Embassy,” it said.
#Iraq: Due to heightened tensions in Iraq and the region, we urge U.S. citizens to depart Iraq immediately. Due to Iranian-backed militia attacks at the U.S. Embassy compound, all consular operations are suspended. U.S. citizens should not approach the Embassy. pic.twitter.com/rdRce3Qr4a
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) January 3, 2020
Soliemani and his Quds Force were “responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more,” the Department of Defense said Thursday.
Soleimani was “actively developing plans” to attack both American service members in Iraq and American diplomats in Iraq, the Pentagon said.
Iraqis — Iraqis — dancing in the street for freedom; thankful that General Soleimani is no more. pic.twitter.com/huFcae3ap4
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) January 3, 2020
The airstrike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who is the leader of Kata’ib Hezbollah, or the Popular Mobilization Forces.
That group attempted to storm the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Dec. 31.
“A crushing revenge will be taken for Soleimani’s unjust assassination,” Hatami said.
“We will take revenge from all those involved and responsible for his assassination,” he said.
The State Department did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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