Saturday, January 4, 2020

Pinoys in Iraq told: Prepare for mandatory evacuation after US killing of Iranian commander

Filipinos in Iraq have been urged by the Department of Foreign Affairs to coordinate closely with the Philippine Embassy and their respective employers in case a mandatory evacuation will result from escalating tension in the region.

A United States airstrike on Friday killed top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani at Baghdad's international airport in Iraq, triggering regional conflict and a wave of backlash against President Donald Trump for supposedly instigating war. “Based on info from our embassy - The crisis alert level for all areas in Iraq is Alert Level 3 (Voluntary Repatriation) except for the Iraqi Kurdistan region which remains under Alert Level 1 (Precautionary Phase),” Assistant Secretary Ed Menez said in a statement. Alert Level 3 is issued in the event of violent disturbances or external aggressions in a limited area where expatriates like overseas Filipino workers are advised to return to their own country.

The next highest crisis status is Alert Level 4 (Evacuation/Mandatory Repatriation), which is issued when large-scale internal conflict or full-blown external attack occurs.

“There is also an existing deployment ban of new workers and household workers to Iraq,” Mendez said. “The situation in Iraq is being closely monitored and the DFA is prepared to send a rapid response team should it be deemed necessary. Direct conflict in Iran itself is presently unlikely.”

Meanwhile, Filipino travelers have been urged by the DFA to cancel all trips to Iraq until further notice as a precaution.

The Philippine Embassy may be contacted at (+964) 781-606-6822; (+964) 751-616-7838; and (+964) 751-876-4665 or via email:; and/or via facebook page: Philippine Embassy in Iraq.