BAGHDAD, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. embassy in Baghdad issued a warning on Friday morning for its citizens to depart Iraq immediately, hours after a U.S. strike that killed senior Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy chief of Iraq's paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces.
A statement by the embassy said due to heightened tensions in Iraq and the region, the U.S. embassy urged its citizens to depart Iraq immediately, confirming that "U.S. citizens should depart via airline while possible, and failing that, to other countries via land."
The statement also urged the U.S. citizens to take certain actions such as not travelling to Iraq, avoiding the U.S. embassy compound and monitoring local and international media for updates.
The U.S. embassy move came hours after a U.S. strike hit two vehicles on the main road near Baghdad International Airport, killing Soleimani and al-Muhandis.
Iraq's caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on Friday strongly condemned the attack, considering the assassination of an Iraqi military leader, who holds an official position, as "an aggression against Iraq, its state, its government and its people."