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State Department tells US citizens to leave Iraq ‘immediately’

 BAGHDAD(AFP) -- The State Department today told US citizens to leave Iraq “immediately,” after an American strike killed top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad.

“Due to heightened tensions in Iraq and the region, we urge US citizens to depart Iraq immediately,” the State Department tweeted. 

US embassy is seen from across the Tigris River in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday. (AFP-Yonhap)
US embassy is seen from across the Tigris River in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday. (AFP-Yonhap)

“Due to Iranian-backed militia attacks at the US Embassy compound, all consular operations are suspended. US citizens should not approach the Embassy.”

Tensions in Iraq were already running high after pro-Iranian protesters laid siege the US embassy earlier this week.

The US announced earlier today that it had killed the commander of the Iranian Quds Force in a strike on Baghdad’s international airport, which also killed the deputy chief of Iraq’s powerful Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force.

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