Philippines Orders Citizens to Leave Iraq Amid Tensions

(Bloomberg) -- The Philippines has ordered thousands of its citizens to evacuate from Iraq as the conflict between the U.S. and Iran escalated.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it has raised its highest alert level in Iraq, which requires evacuation of Filipinos. The agency said there are over 1,600 Philippine citizens in Iraq, while the Defense Department estimates around 6,000 Filipinos there.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier directed the military to prepare equipment to help evacuate Filipinos in the Middle East in case open hostilities erupt. The Philippine Coast Guard said Wednesday that one of its vessels is preparing to sail either to Oman or Dubai to help repatriate Filipinos in Iraq, while the military said its frigates and aircraft are on standby.

Filipinos in Saudi Arabia, which hosts the most number of Philippine workers in the Middle East, were also advised to “be vigilant against potential security threats”.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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