ERBIL: The US State Department on Wednesday ordered the departure of “non-emergency government employees” from Iraq, the US embassy in Baghdad said in a statement.
Referring to the embassy and the US consulate in Erbil, it said “normal visa services at both posts will be temporarily suspended. The US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Iraq.”
The statement recommended those affected “depart by commercial transportation as soon as possible.”
The US embassies in Lebanon, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates also warned American citizens of heightened tensions in the region amid escalation with Iran.
In advisories issued Wednesday, the embassies advised Americans to maintain a "high level of vigilance" and keep a low profile. The embassy in the central Asian nation of Turkmenistan, on Iran's northeast borders, issued similar warnings.
Meanwhile, Germany is suspending military training operations in Iraq due to increasing regional tensions, a spokesman for the Defence Ministry said on Wednesday.
Germany has indications of potential attacks supported by Iran, he said, adding that this did not mean the training programmes could not resume in the coming days.
Focus Online said the decision had been taken in coordination with partner countries fighting Daesh in the region.
The Dutch government also suspended a mission in Iraq that provides assistance to local authorities due to a security threat, Dutch news agency ANP reported on Wednesday.
Dutch military personal help train Iraqi forces in Erbil, northern Iraq, along with other foreign troops.
The report gave no details about the nature of the threat.