US Partly Evacuates Iraq Embassy After Accusing Iran of Escalating Tensions

US forces in Iraq and Syria on high alert for possible 'imminent threat'

The countries announced the move Wednesday just hours after the U.S. ordered all non-essential, non-emergency government staff to leave Iraq immediately.

Lawmakers from both parties in Congress demanded more information on the White House's claims of rising threats in the Middle East, warning President Donald Trump off a unsafe escalation with Iran.

USA officials believe Iran encouraged Yemen's Houthi group or Iraq-based Shi'ite militias to carry out the attack, two US government sources said on Wednesday.

While that claim has not been proven, it prompted the U.S. to send an aircraft carrier and a naval strike group to the Gulf to give a "clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime".

Last week, the USA dispatched warships and bombers to the Middle East to deter what it deemed Iranian threats. Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu may be the only world leader who has proactively praised the Trump Administration's tough stance on Iran.

A senior Iranian official said on Wednesday that any conflict in the region will have "unimaginable consequences".

"This is an imminent threat to our personnel", said a second official.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said on Tuesday he was getting indications from talks with both the United States and Iran that "things will end well" despite the rhetoric.

"There is a new efflorescence, a new renaissance of relations between us and many of our Arab neighbors and many non-Arab Muslim countries".

"We have to avoid any war with Iran", Pelosi told her colleagues, according to a person in the room, who was granted anonymity to discuss the private caucus meeting.

Some observers speculate that Tehran is seeking to retaliate to Washington's decision in April to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran as a terrorist organization in an effort to stymie their activities across the Middle East.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands and Germany, which have 160 soldiers in Iraq, suspended military training operations, citing increasing regional tensions.

He told reporters at the Pentagon that the coalition monitors the presence of Iranian-backed forces "along with a whole range of others because that's the environment we're in".

Unnamed U.S. officials told Reuters that Iran encouraged the Houthis or Iraq-based Shi'ite militias to carry out the attacks.

Talking more about USA military action against Iran under the pretext of allegations that Iran is preparing strikes against U.S. forces in the Middle East, the article said: "The United States is poorly prepared for another conflict in the region; it has the support of none of its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, not even - as Mr. Hunt made clear - Britain".

"It's disappointing to not be able to say that I trust the American intelligence and the American administration but from everything I've seen, both classified and unclassified, I think the British assessment is much more accurate in this case", the Massachusetts Democrat said on CNN's "Right Now" show.

"A war with Iran would be an absolute disaster", Sanders added. "I am committed to ensuring that majorities of the House of Representatives and the Senate make clear that before the president takes any military action, in Iran or anywhere else, he must seek authorization from Congress".



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