IraqNorth AmericaQasem Suleimani

Washington temporarily withdrawing staff from embassy in Iraqi capital

The Unites States is temporarily withdrawing some staff from its embassy in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

The decision comes in the wake of the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist near Tehran and ahead of the anniversary of the assassination of Iran’s top commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.

“A source familiar echoed this and said the decision to have a partial, temporary withdrawal was determined at a Tuesday meeting of the National Security Council’s Policy Coordination Committee,” read a CNN report on Wednesday.

The state department has neither confirmed or denied the drawdown.

“Ambassador (Matthew) Tueller remains in Iraq and the Embassy in Baghdad continues to operate,”a  State Department spokesperson said in a statement. “The State Department continually adjusts its diplomatic presence at Embassies and Consulates throughout the world in line with its mission, the local security environment, the health situation, and even the holidays… Ensuring the safety of US government personnel, US citizens, and the security of our facilities, remains our highest priority.”

Following a directive by US President Donald Trump last month, the US military is reportedly reducing its presence in Iraq from about 3,000 to 2,500 by January 15.

Iran has put a severe revenge on its agenda in response to the assassination of a high-profile figures by the United States and Israel.

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