— By Domani Spero
On July 6, the WSJ reported that the U.S. has intercepted an order from Iran to militants in Iraq to attack the U.S. Embassy and other American interests in Baghdad in the event of a strike on Syria. Read in full here.
As far as we know, and despite the reportedly “abundance of caution” mandate, we have not heard of any authorized or ordered departure order for the US Mission in Iraq. There is however, an “authorized departure” in effect for US Consulate Adana (Turkey) and an “ordered departure” for US Embassy Beirut (Lebanon).
Today, the US Embassy in Baghdad did issue an Emergency Message to U.S. Citizens. Diplomatic Security’s OSAC reissued the same message as Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Baghdad (Iraq), 9/11 Anniversary.
The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all but essential travel to Iraq. Due to heightened safety and security risks and the ongoing threat of terrorist activities throughout Iraq, the U.S. government remains highly concerned about the danger to U.S. citizens, whether visiting or residing in Iraq, and to U.S. facilities and businesses. Threats against U.S. interests, U.S. assets, and foreign companies employing U.S. personnel in Iraq have been reported, related to a possible U.S. military strike on Syria.
On the eve of the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. Embassy reminds U.S. citizens of the need for caution and awareness of personal security. U.S. citizens in Iraq should avoid areas where large gatherings may occur. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. You should avoid areas of demonstrations and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.
Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance, take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security and follow instructions of local authorities.
- U.S. tightens embassy security in Lebanon and Turkey, warns Americans (reuters.com)
- U.S. intercepts Iranian order for attack on U.S. interests in Iraq: report (dailystar.com.lb)
- Report: US intercepts Iranian order for attack on US interests in Iraq – Al-Arabiya (english.alarabiya.net)
- Report: Iran plans attacks on American targets if U.S. strikes Syria (haaretz.com)
- Report: Iran orders Baghdad attack if US hits Syria (stripes.com)