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U.S. Relocates Some Staff From Embassy, Consulate in Iraq

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The U.S. has removed some staff from its embassy in Baghdad and its consulate in Erbil, the capital of Iraq's Kurdish region threatened by militants, the State Department said Sunday. A travel warning posted Friday cautioning U.S. citizens from travelling to Iraq due to the "high risk for kidnapping and terrorist violence" was updated to say that "a limited number" of U.S. Consulate and U.S. Embassy staff members were relocated to Amman, the capital of Jordan, and Basrah, a southern Iraqi city.

"We're not moving our embassy anytime soon, were not moving our consulate anytime soon," President Barack Obama said Saturday during a nationally televised news conference, in which he said targeted airstrikes and further efforts to combat the militants would be a "long-term project." But the State Department warned that "the ability of the U.S. Embassy to provide consular services to U.S. citizens throughout Iraq, including Baghdad, is particularly limited" because U.S. government employees in Iraq are living under "strict security guidelines" due to the tumultuous environment.

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— Elisha Fieldstadt