The US State Department today ordered the removal of non-essential personnel from its embassy in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, as well as its consulate in Erbil.

The State Department also issued a travel advisory to US citizens not to travel to Iraq following recent attacks on US troops and personnel in the region.

The order, dated Friday but announced in a press release today, was issued “in light of increasing security threats against US personnel and interests.”

Meanwhile, clashes occurred between the Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga. An Iraqi soldier was killed today as was a Kurdish Peshmerga fighter when the two sides clashed in a mountainous northern region, Iraqi and Kurdish security sources said.

Fighters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) had evacuated positions near the city of Mahmour yesterday, Saturday, and handed them over to the Iraqi army.

However, Peshmerga fighters from the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP), the ruling party in Iraqi Kurdistan, tried to retake those positions today, sparking the clashes, the sources said.