(BAGHDAD) -- The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad will add extra security and relocate a number of staff members to other cities in the interest of safety after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) took control of a pair of cities to the north earlier this week.
The State Department made the announcement in a statement on Sunday, saying that the United States "strongly supports Iraq and its people." Due to the violence and instability, the embassy will send some staff to other locations temporarily, include Consulate Generals in the cities of Basra, Erbil and to the Iraq Support Unit in Amman, Jordan.
The State Department says that "a substantial majority" of the U.S. presence in Iraq will remain in place with heightened security. The Embassy, the State Department said, "will be fully equipped to carry out its national security mission."
U.S. citizens in Iraq are also urged to use caution and limit travel to the Anbar, Ninawa, Salah ad-Din, Diyala and Kirkuk provinces of Iraq. Americans should also have contingency emergency plans and be in a state of awareness at all times.
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