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Leave now, Philippine gov't tells Filipinos in Iraq
Publication Date : 20-06-2014
Citing the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Iraq, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday called on all Filipinos in the country to get out as soon as possible.
The DFA raised Crisis Alert Level 4 (mandatory repatriation) in Iraq, setting off evacuation procedures at the Philippine government's expense.
“Filipinos in Iraq will be assisted by the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad and the Rapid Response Team, which are currently undertaking registration of overseas Filipino workers for repatriation,” Charles Jose, spokesman for the DFA, said in a statement.
Jose said the Iraqi Kurdistan Region remained under Alert Level 1 (precautionary phase) because the area was still “relatively calm and stable.”
“The DFA continues to closely monitor the political and security developments in Iraq,” he added.
Sunni fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil) have overrun large swaths of northern Iraq in the past few days.
They were battling government forces Thursday for control of Iraq’s largest oil refinery located 200 kilometers north of Baghdad near Tikrit.
Concerns are also mounting about the safety of foreign workers in the country due to the intensified fighting between the Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Sunni militants.