As militants advance in Iraq, U.S. Embassy in Baghdad readies evacuation

posted at 9:31 pm on June 11, 2014 by Noah Rothman

According to U.S. sources who spoke with The Blaze reporter Sara Carter, the United States Embassy in Baghdad is preparing plans to facilitate the evacuation of that massive facility as Islamic militant groups continue their blitz across that country.

“The U.S. official told TheBlaze that the U.S. Embassy, United Nations and other foreign organizations with a presence in Iraq are ‘preparing contingency plans to evacuate employees,’” The Blaze reported.

A counterterrorism expert added that the level of violence in Iraq is at levels “not seen since 2007,” just prior to the implementation of the “surge” strategy which temporarily pacified the growing insurgency in that country.

The $750 million complex is the world’s largest foreign embassy facility and was built to house tens of thousands of government employees and contractors, but it has not been fully staffed since the end of 2013.

The al-Qaeda-linked group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) have already captured the cities of Mosul, Tikrit, and Fallujah, and may be setting their sights on the Iraqi capital. The group’s aim is to create a pan-Islamic state that stretches from the Mediterranean coast to the Iranian border.

The State Department has warned American citizens against traveling to Iraq amid the escalating violence.


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Is the embassy roof strong enough to support helicopters?

bgoldman on June 11, 2014 at 10:01 PM

Somewhere Valerie Jarrett is screeching into a phone to the Pentagon, “No helicopters on the roof! No helicopters on the roof! I don’t want any pictures of helicopters on the roof!”

Wethal on June 11, 2014 at 10:01 PM

I’m headed to Youtube to see what is causing this….

d1carter on June 11, 2014 at 10:01 PM

To cozmo, the world is all about cozmo. Forget the USA, our military, forget Baghdad, our national security, it’s all about cozmo spreading as much insanity and sickness as possible. Alll about cozmo, thousands of sick troll comments alll about cozmo’s obsessed and disturbed fears and pickled imaginations. Delusional cozmo, alll about cozmo, thousands and thousands of comments all about cozmo delusions.

Lourdes on June 11, 2014 at 10:02 PM

Wethal on June 11, 2014 at 10:01 PM

As history has shown, she would rather abandon them.

cozmo on June 11, 2014 at 10:02 PM

I’m headed to Youtube to see what is causing this….

d1carter on June 11, 2014 at 10:01 PM

Israel’s failure to “make peace” with the Palestinians?

/s

Wethal on June 11, 2014 at 10:02 PM

Yes, it was. In more than a few ways. The other hussein had to be neutralized. It was only Bush going into Iraq that scared the cr@p out of Q’Daffy and got him to cough up his nuke program, which, need I remind you, led directly to the AQ Khan nuclear network, meaning that more serious WMDs were found and stopped because of the Iraq War than anyone had even imagined to be in Iraq.

Spot on. Bravo.

And not only that, the US military became the premier fighting force in human history.

WE now train the ISRAELIS. Nobody ever saw that coming.

Have you watched the videos of Chinese troops and their suicide grenade-throwing classes, or the parade of the Type 99 Main Battle Shot Trap? There will be no war with China, ever.

No nation has as much combat experience as the US. It’s worth almost a century of peacetime training.

The price was high, but the war had to be fought, and almost inconceivable advantages came from it.

A Chair of Some Kind on June 11, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Why evacuate our embassy? They chose to be there, right Hillary?

PaddyORyan on June 11, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Lourdes on June 11, 2014 at 10:02 PM

You betcha’ you lying hag.

cozmo on June 11, 2014 at 10:03 PM

AQ is not DEAD:

Lara Logan
===========

Part 1/2 – CBS’s Lara Logan: The Obama Administration Is Lying To You About Afghanistan
Oct 11 2012
***********

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwB1Z8SOdU0

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Take the unrelated flame war somewhere else. Pick a dead thread at the bottom and go at it.

lowandslow on June 11, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Obama has become Nixon Mussolini.

BobMbx on June 11, 2014 at 9:46 PM

VorDaj on June 11, 2014 at 10:04 PM

I could provide you, “cozmo,” with a few telephone numbers for psychiatrists in your city. City services has a few numbers you might want to avail yourself of. I offer because I’m worried about the kids and other public persons you’re having such a hard time tolerating.

Lourdes on June 11, 2014 at 10:04 PM

Lourdes on June 11, 2014 at 10:02 PM

Apologize to Cozmo and settle it.

That is all he wants.

So, be the Lady you profess to be and apologize.

Just Do It

Scrumpy on June 11, 2014 at 10:04 PM

Both Sunni and Shi’ia factions will come together for the common cause, to kill the Infidel, they also will turn on each other, being a muslim means “Death to All” who do not believe as “I” believe.

That’s not happening in any Muslim country on earth. They’re all fighting each other right now.

A Chair of Some Kind on June 11, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Another Noah blog hijacked by a fight. Haha.

coolrepublica on June 11, 2014 at 10:05 PM

I know it’s fun to blame Obama and all, but may I remind you that Iraq is a sovereign nation, and they ask us to get the F$@@k out.

coolrepublica on June 11, 2014 at 9:38 PM

Don’t know much about history

“All Iraqis want the Americans to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible,” said Adnan al-Dulaimi, a senior Sunni politician. “We’re just afraid of the vacuum that this withdrawal may cause.”

BadgerHawk on June 11, 2014 at 10:05 PM

I could provide you, “cozmo,” with a few telephone numbers for psychiatrists in your city.

Lourdes on June 11, 2014 at 10:04 PM

I would prefer some of the proof you claim to have.

cozmo on June 11, 2014 at 10:05 PM

I’m headed to Youtube to see what is causing this….

d1carter on June 11, 2014 at 10:01 PM

I’ll save you the time. It was Four Lions. Clearly.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 11, 2014 at 10:05 PM

So we trained them. We armed them. We gave them every tool they needed to fight groups like this, and what is the first thing they do when SHTF? Tuck tail and run. The one tool we couldn’t give them is the will to stand up for themselves. I say we leave the ME entirely. The minute an American city is attacked we nuke Tikrit, Mosul, or Fallujah. The next time an attack happens we nuke the next city, and so on and so forth. These people don’t care about themselves, why should we?

JAGonzo on June 11, 2014 at 10:05 PM

You betcha’ you lying hag.

cozmo on June 11, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Did you use your sniffing glue to plaster your fat fingers on a keyboard or a smartphone? I ask because you could always do your pantless hop over to a psychiatrist’s office with those in tow. The doctor would understand. And could help you with that problem you have.

Lourdes on June 11, 2014 at 10:06 PM

4000 of our brave troops died in vain and tens of thousands of our brave troops were injured in vain… All this because this most incompetent President in history of our Republic decided not to leave a residual force in Iraq to exactly prevent exactly what is happening now i.e. the rise of Al Qaeda terrorists after we defeated them in 2007-2008… It will take us years, a lot of blood and treasure, to fix the incredible damage this fool Obama caused us in the world not to mention the incredible damage he did domestically…

mnjg on June 11, 2014 at 9:59 PM

1500 or so mercenaries (you know, former British Paras, French Foreign Legionnaires, U.S. Special Forces, Russian Spetnaz, etc.) could have handled these thugs they way they’ve handled sub-Saharan African thugs off and on for the last 50 years.

But, mercenaries are bad (the U.N. says so), and besides, as I pointed out above, the PTB have no interest in seeing any of these countries becoming stable…or…the guys that are taking over in Iraq and Afghanistan are exactly the people that the PTB want in charge.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 11, 2014 at 10:06 PM

Embrace the suck.

Philly on June 11, 2014 at 10:06 PM

If the Iraqi’s cannot get it together in over a decade then they will never be capable of defending themselves. Does the US maintain a permanent garrison in Iraq forever?

Both World War’s took less time than the Iraqi’s have had to prepare for this, and they still behave like a second-rate Italian WW2 draftee formation.

They don’t want to fight for what they were given.

sharrukin on June 11, 2014 at 10:06 PM

Lordes vs. Cozmo.

Will their duels be legendary?

Bigbullets on June 11, 2014 at 10:06 PM

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 7:06 PM

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 9:48 PM

Sadly, any military material might fall into ISIS hands; so much has already.

Wethal on June 11, 2014 at 9:49 PM

Wethal: Agreed, what a F***ing Mess!:)

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 10:06 PM

They’re all fighting each other right now.

A Chair of Some Kind on June 11, 2014 at 10:05 PM

That’s what I thought I said ;)

Scrumpy on June 11, 2014 at 10:07 PM

So we trained them. We armed them. We gave them every tool they needed to fight groups like this, and what is the first thing they do when SHTF? Tuck tail and run. The one tool we couldn’t give them is the will to stand up for themselves. I say we leave the ME entirely. The minute an American city is attacked we nuke Tikrit, Mosul, or Fallujah. The next time an attack happens we nuke the next city, and so on and so forth. These people don’t care about themselves, why should we?

JAGonzo on June 11, 2014 at 10:05 PM

What makes you think “we” weren’t arming and financing the other side?

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 11, 2014 at 10:07 PM

Will their duels be legendary?

Bigbullets on June 11, 2014 at 10:06 PM

It’s been a while since she went on one of her epic rants.

cozmo on June 11, 2014 at 10:07 PM

God have mercy on the people of Iraq.

kcewa on June 11, 2014 at 10:08 PM

What is the under/over for Baghdad falling to Al-Queada by July 4, 2014?

Pity Intrade is no longer around…

patch on June 11, 2014 at 10:08 PM

Why couldn’t we have stayed out? Was the Iraq worth it? NO.

coolrepublica

Maybe we should have STAYED IN, instead of pulling out in 2011. And they ASKED Obama for help last month, and he denied it.

Ms. Contrarian Scientist on June 11, 2014 at 10:08 PM

You betcha’ you lying hag.

cozmo on June 11, 2014 at 10:03 PM

A psychiatrist in your city could also help you, eventually, see that I’m not your mother. You confuse “hag” with her, I realize, and a good doctor could help you understand that. Also give you something to help the poor kids you expose yourself to, spare them being exposed to you. But it’s first and foremost: your mother, your issue.

Lourdes on June 11, 2014 at 10:08 PM

The only thing surprising is how long it took for them to do it.

The US war effort in Iraq under Obama was no civil war and stop patrolling therefore no deaths due to IEDs or ambushes makes it look like everything is peaceful.

Fortitude on June 11, 2014 at 10:09 PM

Wise move! Looks like Obama has learned from Libya..maybe. Lets see if this administration is competent enough to get them all out.

Look Shia Militia right now are moving toward their holy sites in Iraq..remember this guy?

Look at this whole situation as a glass half full. The bad part is we wasted a lot of time, blood, and money in Iraq. However…we have created a situation in which Sunni and Shia Jihadist forces (and nation states like Iran) are about to square off in the greatest Islamic throwdown in centuries. This should tie up most of the Islamic world for some time which mean less Islamic jihadist available for attacking America, Israel and the west. This is good thing…not bad.

Remember the Iraq vs. Iran War? From an American perspective things went downhill in that part of the world after that war ended.

William Eaton on June 11, 2014 at 10:09 PM

What a sad stat of affairs.

The idea that Iraq could be turned into a democracy was flawed from the beginning.

Bigbullets on June 11, 2014 at 10:09 PM

If the Iraqi’s cannot get it together in over a decade then they will never be capable of defending themselves. Does the US maintain a permanent garrison in Iraq forever?

sharrukin on June 11, 2014 at 10:06

We’re still in Germany and Japan.

kcewa on June 11, 2014 at 10:09 PM

A psychiatrist in your city could also help you…

Lourdes on June 11, 2014 at 10:08 PM

Or you could back up some of the libelous transgressions of the terms of use here.

cozmo on June 11, 2014 at 10:09 PM

Does the US maintain a permanent garrison in Iraq forever?

sharrukin on June 11, 2014 at 10:06 PM

A garrison might not have been for Iraqi stability alone, but could have been a good base in a strategic area.

We kept bases in Germany and Japan just because the locations were advantageous.

Wethal on June 11, 2014 at 10:10 PM

Wow.

rubberneck on June 11, 2014 at 10:10 PM

So,…if my Fact Pattern is accurate…this is on

HOPEY’S WATCH!!

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 9:56 PM

But it will still be blamed on Bush.

Alien on June 11, 2014 at 10:10 PM

Third, it is not our place, constitutionally or even morally, to
save any people from themselves. Civil wars and internal strife are, by
definition, internal. In our haste to re-establish some semblance of
order in a country we had invaded, choices were made which changed the
dynamics of the balance of power, giving control to the Shiite majority,
placing that nation in league with Iran and at odds with Al Qaida which
is principally Sunni.

These continued ill-advised efforts to massage the troubles of
cultures in the Islamic world are proceeding with bad advice about those
cultures and their religion and continue to threaten the well-being of
American War Fighters who are continually compelled to act as a highly
restricted police force rather than this nation’s Warrior Guard.

We have literally wasted the lives and the wellbeing of far too many
of this generation, chasing after something that cannot be achieved;
improved relations with a people who will only be satisfied when the
last vestige of Infidel’s corpses are rotting in the ground.

VorDaj on June 11, 2014 at 9:54 PM

You can’t force freedom and democracy on people that aren’t ready for it.

It’s time to get out of the Middle East. This has been a tragic waste of American lives and money.

talkingpoints on June 11, 2014 at 10:10 PM

What is the under/over for Baghdad falling to Al-Queada by July 4, 2014?

The way they’re moving, it will fall before the end of the week.

lowandslow on June 11, 2014 at 10:10 PM

Let the fundamentalists kill each other. There is no solution for their millennium-old hatred of each other. Bush screwed up getting us into Iraq, and Obama screwed up bailing us so completely out that it’s fallen to pieces.

Let them kill each other. So many people around the world are so sure of how little they want us around. Let them have what they want. Leave them to their stone age.

xNavigator on June 11, 2014 at 10:11 PM

So we trained them. We armed them. We gave them every tool they needed to fight groups like this, and what is the first thing they do when SHTF? Tuck tail and run.

Fleeing is a great Iraqi tradition. Luckily for them, the Iranians were horrible fighters.

Watch how many rounds these Iranians fire without hitting even one of the Iraqi tank crew.

A Chair of Some Kind on June 11, 2014 at 10:11 PM

Will their duels be legendary?

Bigbullets on June 11, 2014 at 10:06 PM

You should realize that by feeding cozmo’s sickness, he gets more irritated and more irritated at his mother and those darn pants.

It’s best to leave deranged people like cozmo to just rant about their mothers and write twenty-two thousand and counting trollspam comments about the voices in the drains in his/her hovel.

I imagine cozmo thinks the police sirens are ‘rants,’ too. Like those voices in his pants, if he only wore them, but not to worry, he’s got a special view for those kids in that public school.

Lourdes on June 11, 2014 at 10:11 PM

It’s been a while since she went on one of her epic rants.

cozmo on June 11, 2014 at 10:07 PM

Too personal for my liking.

Bigbullets on June 11, 2014 at 10:12 PM

“On Iraq, the president said he would end the war. Governor Romney said that was a tragic mistake, we should have left 30,000 — he ended it. Governor Romney said that was a tragic mistake, we should have left 30,000 troops there.”

– Joe Biden, debate

Per the NYT:

“All American forces were to leave Iraq by the end of 2011, the departure date set in an agreement signed by President George W. Bush and Mr. Maliki in 2008. Even so, Mr. Obama left the door open to KEEPING TROOPS IN IRAQ to train Iraqi forces if an agreement could be negotiated.

Convening a videoconference on Oct. 6, 2010, Mr. Biden and top American officials reviewed the options. The vice president favored a plan that would keep Mr. Maliki as prime minister, but which involved installing his main rival, Mr. Allawi, leader of the Iraqiya bloc, near the top of the pyramid. To make way for Mr. Allawi, Mr. Biden suggested that Mr. Talabani, an ethnic Kurd, be shifted from the presidency and given another position. “Let’s make him foreign minister,” Mr. Biden said, according to the notes of the meeting.

“Thanks a lot, Joe,” Mrs. Clinton said, noting that Mr. Biden had cast the Foreign Ministry as a consolation prize.

Mr. Biden also predicted that the Americans could work out a deal with a government led by Mr. Maliki. “Maliki wants us to stick around because he does not see a future in Iraq otherwise,” Mr. Biden said. “I’LL BET YOU MY VICE-PRESIDENCY MALIKI WILL EXTEND THE SOFA,” he added, he added, referring to the Status of Forces Agreement the Obama administration hoped to negotiate.

James B. Steinberg, the deputy secretary of state, questioned whether Mr. Biden’s plan would make the already inefficient Iraqi government more dysfunctional.

Admiral Mullen sent a classified letter to Mr. Donilon that recommended keeping 16,000 troops.

The attempt by Mr. Obama and his senior aides to fashion an extraordinary power-sharing arrangement between Mr. Maliki and Mr. Allawi never materialized. NEITHER DID AN AGREEMENT THAT WOULD HAVE KEPT A SMALL AMERICAN FORCE IN IRAQ TO TRAIN THE IRAQI MILITARY AND PATROL THE COUNTRY’S SKIES. A plan to use American civilians to train the Iraqi police has been severely cut back. The result is an Iraq that is less stable domestically and less reliable internationally than the United States had envisioned.”

In the end, Biden’s plan was rebuffed by the Iraqis and the SOFA was not extended.

Resist We Much on June 11, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Fantastic.

BigGator5 on June 11, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Jay Carney: “There are no Al Qaeda tanks in Baghdad.”

kcewa on June 11, 2014 at 10:12 PM

The New York Times
View this content on The New York Times’s website
Iraq Asked U.S. for Strikes, Officials Say

The Obama administration declined the request by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, because it was reluctant to open a new chapter in a conflict that the White House has insisted was closed.
View on web

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/06/12/world/middleeast/iraq-asked-us-for-airstrikes-on-militants-officials-say.html

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Or you could back up some of the libelous transgressions of the terms of use here.

cozmo on June 11, 2014 at 10:09 PM

…said your mother.

Lourdes on June 11, 2014 at 10:12 PM

I imagine cozmo thinks the police sirens are ‘rants,’ too.

Lourdes on June 11, 2014 at 10:11 PM

Heh, just your lying rants

cozmo on June 11, 2014 at 10:13 PM

William Eaton on June 11, 2014 at 10:09 PM

Sad thing is that when Sunni and Shiite fight in this area, the few remaining Christians are caught in the crossfire.

ISIS is the group that required the Syrian Christians to sign a dhimmi agreement and pay a tax. Even though many Christians have left, there are still some very old congregations in northern Iraq now under ISIS control.

Wethal on June 11, 2014 at 10:13 PM

…said your mother.

Lourdes on June 11, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Because you know you lied.

cozmo on June 11, 2014 at 10:13 PM

There was no “premature withdrawal” from Iraq. Obama did not officially withdraw all American troops from Iraq in 16 months after taking office like he had repeatedly promised during his 2008 campaign. Instead he withdrew on the Bush/Maliki negotiated “Status of Forces” agreement. To abrogate/extend that agreement the Iraqis wanted to be able to try our troops in Islamic courts. Totally-totally-totally unacceptable!!! The Shiites their made their own bed.

VorDaj on June 11, 2014 at 10:13 PM

Scrumpy, for whatever your profession may be, if a total stranger started addressing others on sites you visited, contributed to, and wrote hideous lies about you and your work accomplishments — stating you’d “stolen” work from others (which is among what “cozmo” has written about me) — and then trolled you with crass remarks about you on another site (this one, for example), would you feel so happy about that person afterward?

Some people are indecent and “cozmo” is one of those.

Lourdes on January 24, 2014 at 11:36 PM

Lourdes not meaning to get in between you and cozmo here. I am curious however. When you made this statement I was there. What exactly did you mean by it? What websites? What work?

Bmore on June 11, 2014 at 10:14 PM

I’m headed to Youtube to see what is causing this….

d1carter on June 11, 2014 at 10:01 PM

Here it is :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlM7bYP8YNM

burrata on June 11, 2014 at 10:14 PM

We kept bases in Germany and Japan just because the locations were advantageous.

Wethal on June 11, 2014 at 10:10 PM

We’re still in Germany and Japan.

kcewa on June 11, 2014 at 10:09 PM

Iraq and Afghanistan AREN’T Germany and Japan.

Those were civilized nations before they went feral. Iraq and Afghanistan were not, are not and likely will not be for a very long time. They are an Islamic tribal society and you aren’t going to create a functioning democracy out of them.

They don’t want what we have to offer.

sharrukin on June 11, 2014 at 10:14 PM

The way they’re moving, it will fall before the end of the week.

lowandslow on June 11, 2014 at 10:10 PM

ISIS is 75 miles away from Baghdad.

Wethal on June 11, 2014 at 10:14 PM

https://twitter.com/CathyOCeallaigh

Cathy O’Ceallaigh @CathyOCeallaigh · Jun 10

Abandoned US armored vehicles captured and in hands of ISIS in Mosul.

https://twitter.com/CathyOCeallaigh/status/476378681443880960/photo/1

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Lourdes on June 11, 2014 at 10:11 PM

You are ranting way beyond your own sickness… stop it.

Apologize to Cozmo and stop this vulgar harrassment

Scrumpy on June 11, 2014 at 10:15 PM

Sorry Lourdes, should have read. Which websites?

Bmore on June 11, 2014 at 10:15 PM

We’re still in Germany and Japan.

kcewa on June 11, 2014 at 10:09 PM

Those places are civilized, and technologically sophisticated. They also are ethnically and religiously homogeneous. In Germany, Nazism was obliterated, and in Japan we captured their “god” and made him order the people around.

Iraq is like none of those places and we never removed the crux of the problem from the Iraqi government…Islam.

William Eaton on June 11, 2014 at 10:15 PM

sharrukin on June 11, 2014 at 10:14 PM

It’s not necessarily the country; it’s the geographical location of the base. Germany was (and still is) useful for a US military presence near Russia; Japan for China and North Korea.

Wethal on June 11, 2014 at 10:16 PM

What makes you think “we” weren’t arming and financing the other side?

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 11, 2014 at 10:07 PM

I have already stated a way of handling both sides, regardless of how they were armed/financed.

JAGonzo on June 11, 2014 at 10:16 PM

Lordes vs. Cozmo.

Will their duels be legendary?

Bigbullets on June 11, 2014 at 10:06 PM

I’m thinking “irresistible force meets immoveable object.” But no idea which is which.

de rigueur on June 11, 2014 at 10:16 PM

https://twitter.com/LizSly
Liz Sly @LizSly · 7h

US Embassy Baghdad warns against travel to Iraq (again).”Violence…at levels unseen since 2007.” http://iraq.usembassy.gov/ta-06112014.html

Iraq Travel Warning
June 11, 2014

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all but essential travel to Iraq. Travel within Iraq remains dangerous given the security situation. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated March 6, 2014, to update information on security incidents and to remind U.S. citizens of ongoing security concerns in Iraq, including kidnapping and terrorist violence. The ability of the Embassy to respond to situations in which U.S. citizens face difficulty, including arrests, is extremely limited.

U.S. citizens in Iraq remain at high risk for kidnapping and terrorist violence. Methods of attack have included roadside improvised explosive devices (IEDs), including explosively formed penetrators (EFPs); magnetic IEDs placed on vehicles; human and vehicle-borne IEDs; mines placed on or concealed near roads; mortars and rockets; and shootings using various direct fire weapons. These and other attacks frequently occur in public gathering places, such as cafes, markets and other public venues. Numerous insurgent groups, including the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), previously known as al-Qa’ida in Iraq, remain active and terrorist activity and violence persist in many areas of the country at levels unseen since 2007. Iraqi forces are conducting military operations in Ninewah and Anbar Provinces against insurgent and terrorist organizations that have occupied territory and cities within those provinces. Fighting has been especially intense in the Northern Iraq city of Mosul with ISIL reportedly taking control of sections of Mosul including government facilities. Baghdad International Airport has been struck by mortar rounds and rockets, and the Mosul International Airport has been the target of militant assault. Due to the potential of political protests and demonstrations to become violent, U.S. citizens in Iraq are strongly urged to avoid protests and large gatherings.

The U.S. government considers the potential threat to U.S. government personnel in Iraq to be serious enough to require them to live and work under strict security guidelines. All U.S. government employees under the authority of the U.S. Chief of Mission must follow strict safety and security procedures when traveling outside the Embassy. State Department guidance to U.S. businesses in Iraq advises the use of protective security details. Detailed security information is available at the U.S. Embassy website.

The U.S. Embassy is located in the International Zone (IZ) in Baghdad. The IZ is a restricted access area. Iraqi authorities are responsible for control of the IZ. Travelers to the IZ should be aware that Iraqi authorities may require special identification to enter the IZ or may issue IZ-specific access badges. Individuals residing and traveling within the IZ should continue to exercise good personal safety precautions.

Increasingly, many U.S. and third-country business people travel throughout much of Iraq; however, they do so under restricted movement conditions and often with security advisors and protective security teams.

Some regions within Iraq have experienced fewer violent incidents than others in recent years, in particular the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR). The security situation in the IKR, which includes the provinces of Sulaymaniyah, Erbil and Dohuk, has been more stable relative to the rest of Iraq in recent years, but threats remain. U.S. government personnel in northern Iraq are required to be accompanied by a protective security escort when traveling outside secure facilities.

The Government of Iraq strictly enforces requirements regarding visas and stamps for entry and exit, vehicle registration, authorizations for weapons, and movements through checkpoints. The Embassy highly recommends that all U.S. citizens in Iraq carefully review the status of their travel documents and any necessary licenses and government authorizations to ensure that they are current and valid. U.S. citizens are urged to immediately correct any deficiencies in their travel documents. U.S. citizens are strongly advised against traveling throughout the country with deficient or invalid documents. For more information about entry/exit requirements for U.S. citizens, please see our Country Specific Information page for Iraq.

U.S. citizens should avoid areas near the Syrian, Turkish, or Iranian borders, which are especially dangerous and not always clearly defined. The Governments of Turkey and Iran continue to carry out military operations against insurgent groups in the mountain regions bordering Iraq. These operations have included troop movements and both aerial and artillery bombardments. Extensive unmarked minefields also remain along these borders. Border skirmishes with smugglers have become commonplace. Unrest in Syria has resulted in large numbers of people seeking refuge in the area. Iranian authorities previously detained, for an extended period, U.S. citizens who were hiking in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR) in the vicinity of the Iranian border. The resources available to the U.S. Embassy to assist U.S. citizens who venture close to or cross the border with Iran are extremely limited. The Department of State discourages travel in close proximity to the Iranian border.

The ability of the U.S. Embassy to provide consular services to U.S. citizens throughout Iraq, including Baghdad, is particularly limited given the security environment. The U.S. Consulates in Basrah and Kirkuk cannot provide routine services such as passport applications, extra visa pages, and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad. U.S. citizens in need of these services in Erbil must make an appointment with the Consulate on-line, either through the Embassy’s website or the website for the Consulate in Erbil. The Embassy’s website includes consular information and the most recent messages to U.S. citizens in Iraq. U.S. citizens in Iraq who need emergency assistance should call 0770-443-1286 or 0770-030-4888.

For information on “What the Department of State Can and Can’t Do in a Crisis,” please visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ Emergencies and Crisis link. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

11. U.S. citizens who choose to visit or reside in Iraq despite this Travel Warning are urged to take responsibility for their own personal security and belongings (including their U.S. passports) and to avoid crowds, especially rallies or demonstrations. U.S. citizens who choose to travel in Iraq should be aware that Iraqi authorities have arrested or detained U.S. citizens whose purpose of travel is not readily apparent. Persons also have been detained for taking photographs of buildings, monuments, or other sites, especially in the IZ in Baghdad.

All U.S. citizens in Iraq, including those working on contract for the U.S. government, are urged to inform the U.S. Embassy of their presence in Iraq by enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in order to obtain updated travel information. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to provide updated security information or to contact them in emergencies. The Embassy also offers SMS text alerts delivered to your mobile phone when new security and emergency messages are released.

http://iraq.usembassy.gov/ta-06112014.html

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 10:17 PM

Top Chechen Jihadist Commander Seen With U.S. Humvee After ISIS Transfers Seized Military Hardware From Mosul To Syria…

Resist We Much on June 11, 2014 at 10:15 PM

Hopefully Putin will solve that problem one day…

William Eaton on June 11, 2014 at 10:17 PM

Why not? Barack Insane Obama ain’t gonna do anything about it.

SouthernGent on June 11, 2014 at 10:17 PM

There was no “premature withdrawal” from Iraq. Obama did not officially withdraw all American troops from Iraq in 16 months after taking office like he had repeatedly promised during his 2008 campaign. Instead he withdrew on the Bush/Maliki negotiated “Status of Forces” agreement. To abrogate/extend that agreement the Iraqis wanted to be able to try our troops in Islamic courts. Totally-totally-totally unacceptable!!! The Shiites their made their own bed.

VorDaj on June 11, 2014 at 10:13 PM

Wow.

Was unaware of that — thanks!

ShainS on June 11, 2014 at 10:17 PM

Bmore on June 11, 2014 at 10:14 PM

She won’t, she hasn’t, she can’t, she just likes to rant Bmore.

I was there also…

Scrumpy on June 11, 2014 at 10:17 PM

Instead he withdrew on the Bush/Maliki negotiated “Status of Forces” agreement. To abrogate/extend that agreement the Iraqis wanted to be able to try our troops in Islamic courts. Totally-totally-totally unacceptable!!! The Shiites their made their own bed.

VorDaj on June 11, 2014 at 10:13 PM

Bush left the finalizing of the SOFA to Obama because it was the incoming administration.

Wethal on June 11, 2014 at 10:18 PM

Sad thing is that when Sunni and Shiite fight in this area, the few remaining Christians are caught in the crossfire.

Wethal on June 11, 2014 at 10:13 PM

And the Kurds, who were our only trustworthy allies out there. The rest of the arabs are backstabbers. You can rent them out for a bit – pay them off and they’ll have you over for tea – but, eventually, they’ll turn around and stab you in the back for nothing. That’s arab culture. There is no such thing as “goodwill” out there. Westerners seem to have the greatest difficulty understanding this. Petraeus thought he was such a genius for buying off some arabs for a little while … big friggin whoop!

This is why I have said from the very beginning (even before the invasion) that we needed to go into Iraq, take down hussein, take over the oil fields (as all threats from the arab/persian/muslim world start and stop with control of the gulf oil fields) and leave the iraqis to run around in the desert stabbing each other in the butt, as arabs are wont to do. This idea that we would rebuild and the lot … total BS thought up by people who don’t understand the middle east or arab culture, at all.

In any event, once Barky slimed into office none of that mattered, anyway. barky was going to harm US interests in every way, shape, and form that his little pea brain could come up with. And he did.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 11, 2014 at 10:18 PM

Liz Sly @LizSly · 43m

All these reports of the US saying “no” to allies who ask for help will have a long term impact on the Middle East http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/06/12/world/middleeast/iraq-asked-us-for-airstrikes-on-militants-officials-say.html?referrer=
==============================================================

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/06/12/world/middleeast/iraq-asked-us-for-airstrikes-on-militants-officials-say.html?referrer=

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 10:19 PM

The Obama administration is considering a number of options, including the possibility of providing “kinetic support” for the Iraqi military fighting al Qaeda rebels who seized two major cities north of Baghdad this week, according to a senior U.S. official who added that no decisions have been made.

Kinetic support… What the f*** is that? Everything has to be a f***ing empty meaningless buzzword with these morons who know nothing about anything of importance…

mnjg on June 11, 2014 at 10:19 PM

Resist We Much on June 11, 2014 at 10:15 PM

OMG Chechens, this is gonna be real real ugly and nasty. Heard already the invaders have beheaded thousands…

Scrumpy on June 11, 2014 at 10:19 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 11, 2014 at 10:18 PM

At least the Kurds are well-armed and fight back. They don’t refer to the “semi-autonomous” Kurdish areas in Iraq for nothing.

Wethal on June 11, 2014 at 10:20 PM

Liz Sly @LizSly · 5h

*If* in 2010

the US had not so insistently supported Maliki’s PM bid over Allawi (who won),

would Iraq be where it is now?

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 10:20 PM

All these reports of the US saying “no” to allies who ask for help will have a long term impact on the Middle East

Is 1+1=2? Our allies should not give a f*** about what Obama says anymore… They should not even pick up the phone when he calls them…

mnjg on June 11, 2014 at 10:21 PM

It’s not necessarily the country; it’s the geographical location of the base. Germany was (and still is) useful for a US military presence near Russia; Japan for China and North Korea.

Wethal on June 11, 2014 at 10:16 PM

And what does Iraq give that Qatar, Saudia Arabia, or Bahrain doesn’t as a location?

As for Afghanistan that is subject to Russian, or Pakistani charity to maintain so it does nothing of the sort.

sharrukin on June 11, 2014 at 10:21 PM

State Dept: Terrorist Group’s Presence In Syria And Iraq ‘Entirely Different Situations’

Via WFB

In the view of the State Department, the actions of militant group the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria and Iraq are “entirely different situations.”

At a briefing Wednesday, a reporter asked State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki to reconcile the United States’ cautious position on intervening in Syria, where ISIL is active, with its recent declared support of Iraq in fighting ISIL. “But you’re not making a distinction, are you, between the group’s activities in Iraq and the group’s activities in Syria? I mean, they’re just as deadly to the Syrian people as the Iraqi people, and they’re going back and forth across the border.”

“Well,” Psaki responded, “they’re entirely different situations.”

Psaki claimed that there have been “many different conflicting reports” about ISIL in Syria and Iraq, and “there are different coalitions and different factions.”

“They claim to be one and the same,” a reporter countered.

“But regardless,” Psaki said, “any threat, any terrorist threat — there are many that unfortunately exist in that particular region — are of concern to us and that’s why we are upping our focus on the changing threat — changing threats that we’re facing today.”

Resist We Much on June 11, 2014 at 10:21 PM

But Iraq’s appeals for military assistance have so far been rebuffed by the White House, which has been reluctant to open a new chapter in a conflict that President Obama has insisted was over when the United States withdrew the last of its forces from Iraq in 2011.

That’s two presidents in a row who’ve stated their “reluctance to revisit the past” as a viable reason for doing nothing.

Bush refused and continues to refuse every single opportunity to show that he didn’t “lie us into the war,” and now Obama won’t help Iraq because “this conversation is closed.”

Will we ever elect people who don’t have eight thousand steamer trunks of psychological baggage that prevent them from behaving rationally?

HA! I crack myself up.

A Chair of Some Kind on June 11, 2014 at 10:21 PM

Top Chechen Jihadist Commander Seen With U.S. Humvee After ISIS Transfers Seized Military Hardware From Mosul To Syria…

Resist We Much on June 11, 2014 at 10:15 PM

RWM: D*mn Boinkers!:)

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 10:21 PM

I was there also…

Scrumpy on June 11, 2014 at 10:17 PM

Good evening Scrumpy. Yes many of us were. Still though I never did see Lourdes point out which site or sites she was talking about. cozmo is in no need of my assistance in this. I have no personal gripe with Lourdes. I am curious though. Seems like it would be easy to sight sites or site. ; )

Bmore on June 11, 2014 at 10:21 PM

mnjg on June 11, 2014 at 10:19 PM

No Boots on the Ground…

Scrumpy on June 11, 2014 at 10:22 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 11, 2014 at 9:55 PM

Thank you for your discernment.

rlwo2008 on June 11, 2014 at 10:22 PM

Resist We Much on June 11, 2014 at 10:21 PM

Has anyone photoshopped a picture of Psaki in Baghdad Bob’s uniform yet?

Wethal on June 11, 2014 at 10:22 PM

sight sites or site. ; )

Bmore on June 11, 2014 at 10:21 PM

Cite sites.

cozmo on June 11, 2014 at 10:22 PM

Obama & Co need to show how save the US Embassy in Baghdad is by spending the fall season there — swimming in the Tigris, exploring the shopping in neighborhoods and small outlying villages.

KenInIL on June 11, 2014 at 10:22 PM

Did I say that correctly. It looks funny. No matter. The ME is going to explode completely out of anyone’s control shortly. Blood bath central and I don’t mean just HA.

Bmore on June 11, 2014 at 10:23 PM

https://twitter.com/APDiploWriter

Matt Lee @APDiploWriter · 5h

Clarity above the murk on #Iraq. “It’s clear that the situation on the ground is very murky,” says @statedeptspox

Jen Psaki Verified account
@statedeptspox

Spokesperson for the U.S. @statedept: fmr Obama campaign ’08 ’12, WH first term, World traveler, press briefer and proud @williamandmary alum

https://twitter.com/statedeptspox

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 10:23 PM

Iraq Asked U.S. To Bomb ISIS Staging Areas Before They Took Mosul, Obama Said No…

Resist We Much on June 11, 2014 at 10:16 PM

Shia should have learned their lesson by now on that…maybe they can ask Iran. Don’t they still have some F-14s? Will be nice to see the old girl back in action again one last time.

BTW who do we trust more now the Iranians or Saudis? Sad to say I actually trust the crack pot Iranians more than the Saudis…that is not saying much (LOL) but still.

William Eaton on June 11, 2014 at 10:24 PM

Bmore on June 11, 2014 at 10:21 PM

She refused to. Based on that Cozmo knew what she was refering to, she didn’t feel the need to back herself up, and just likes to flail around being stupid with her remarks to Cozmo.

I should butt out also.

Cozmo don’t need my help :)

Scrumpy on June 11, 2014 at 10:24 PM

Top Chechen Jihadist Commander Seen With U.S. Humvee After ISIS Transfers Seized Military Hardware From Mosul To Syria…

Resist We Much on June 11, 2014 at 10:15 PM

Of course… ISIS has been fighting the Syrian rebels from the back and Assad has been fighting them from the front… ISIS is directly or indirectly allied with Assad and both of them must f***ing annihilated…

mnjg on June 11, 2014 at 10:24 PM

Cite sites.

cozmo on June 11, 2014 at 10:22 PM

Thanks I thought it looked wrong. As always though it was just as I hit submit. Picked up a few bad habits as a noob here. Should always take time to preview. ; )

Bmore on June 11, 2014 at 10:25 PM

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