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US evacuates some consulate staff from Iraqi city of Arbil

Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters take position on the front line in Makhmur, about 280 kilometres (175 miles) north of the capital Baghdad, during clashes with Islamic State (IS) militants on August 9, 2014The United States evacuated some staff members from the Iraqi Kurdish city of Arbil, the State Department said, out of “an abundance of caution” amid an offensive by Islamist militants. The notice announcing “the departure of some staff from the consulate general in Arbil,” came in the form of a State Department travel warning for Iraq, just two days after a previous one. Meanwhile State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf confirmed in a statement that the move was made “in light of the security situation in Iraq” and that the US had “temporarily relocated a limited number of staff from Consulate Arbil to our consulate in Basra (southern Iraq) and to the Iraq support unit in Amman,” Jordan.

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