United Kingdom raises threat level for British forces in Iraq and Gulf

US orders some government employees to leave Iraq 'as soon as possible'

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo - who has made rolling back Iranian influence in the region a top priority - last week paid a surprise trip to Baghdad in a move to bolster ties with Iraq. "The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq", the statement said.

What do United States allies say?

In recent weeks American has also deployed warships, bombers, and thousands of troops into the Persian Gulf.

According to a statement by the UK's Ministry of Defense, the decision was made because of "a range of threats to United Kingdom and coalition forces" related to "Iran's destabilizing behavior in the region".

Trump blasted media reports about turmoil in the White House over a series of steps taken by the administration to up pressure on Iran, saying "there is no infighting whatsoever".

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Berlin "still regards this nuclear agreement as the basis for Iran not having any nuclear weapons in the future, and we regard this as existential for our security".

According to a BBC Arabic report, Pompeo handed over a memory stick to Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi containing evidence of Iran's plans to attack USA interests in Iraq through its proxies in the country.

"Israeli intelligence sent photographs of rocket stockpiles" in Basra in southern Iraq, Allawi told the TV station, "soon after the bombing of Gaza" by Hamas.

"We talked to them about the importance of Iraq ensuring that it's able to adequately protect Americans in their country", Mr Pompeo said after meeting Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

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Diplomatic security is a key priority for the United States.

Blasts involving improvised explosive devices (IEDs) occur in many areas of Iraq, including the capital Baghdad, the advisory warned, adding that normal visa services would be suspended.

National Security Advisor John Bolton warned that Washington would respond with "unrelenting force" to any attack by Tehran, including by its regional allies.

It did not give details about the nature of the threats.

President Donald Trump's order of a U.S. military buildup in the Gulf to counter alleged threats by Iran has many anxious about a looming war and others skeptical of Washington's motivations.

His remarks contradicted the USA claims and prompted a rare public rebuttal from the Pentagon.

The comments by Major General Chris Ghika, a British spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, the coalition fighting the Islamic State group, drew a sharp retort from US Central Command.

Is the U.S. preparing for war? As a result, "the USA chose to investigate further and speak with Iraqi officials involved, and this is why Pompeo came".

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