BAGHDAD, Iraq, May 15 (Reuters) – Washington ordered the departure of non-emergency government employees from Iraq on Wednesday, after repeated U.S. expressions of concern about threats from Iranian-backed forces.

The U.S. State Department has ordered the pullout of the employees from both the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and its consulate in Erbil, the embassy said in a statement.

“Normal visa services at both posts will be temporarily suspended,” it said, recommending those affected depart as soon as possible. It was unclear how many staff would leave.

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