The US State Department on January 3, 2020, ordered the departure of all non-emergency government personnel from Iraq. The decision came after the US killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike near Baghdad. Kenneth McCallister, the charge d’affaires at the US embassy in Baghdad, said in a statement that the US mission in Iraq will continue and be supported in the same way as it had been in the past. This includes support for Iraq’s efforts to fight the Islamic State group. The US also encouraged all citizens to leave Iraq immediately.