Home > News > Regional
Monday June 16, 2014 MYT 8:45:00 AM
Monday June 16, 2014 MYT 8:48:40 AM
SYDNEY: Australia is following the United States and evacuating embassy staff from strife-torn Iraq, officials said Monday.
"Due to the deteriorating security situation, a number of Australian officials have been withdrawn from Baghdad," the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said.
"The Australian Embassy remains open with reduced staffing levels," it said without providing figures.
"Australians in Iraq should depart immediately while commercial flights continue to operate."
Iraq said Sunday it had started to drive back fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, as grisly reports emerged of atrocities committed during their lightning offensive south towards Baghdad.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said an "essential core" of embassy staff will remain in Baghdad.
"Due to the very challenging security environment we are unlikely to be able to provide the level of consular assistance that might be expected," she told ABC radio on Monday.
"But we certainly strongly support the Iraqi government's ongoing efforts to counter this terrorism that's taking place within its borders." -AFP
Tags / Keywords:
embassy staff, Australia, evacuation, iraq, terrorism
Australia rejects UN criticism of 'human rights violations'
Australia commits military forces to fight Islamic State
Australia raises terror alert level to 'high' on Mideast fears
Australia world's most expensive for international students
Australia foils Islamic State 'demonstration killings' plot
Hong Kong students to boycott classes in democracy battle
Bainimarama claims victory in Fiji poll
'Ecstatic' New Zealand PM declares election victory
New Zealand PM pushes flag change after election win
Tropical storm Fung-Wong lashes Taiwan, killing one
Tropical storm Fung-Wong lashes Taiwan
WHO experts advise against travel or trade bans on Ebola-hit Africa
Tim Cook puts personal touch on iPhone 6 launch
Brussels chocolate museum opens to sweeten senses
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)