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Friday, July 15, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Kuwait diplomatic corps withdraws from Iraq after attack on its embassy

BAGHDAD — Kuwait, determining an imminent threat, has withdrawn from Iraq.


Kuwait has ordered all of its personnel out of Iraq. Officials said the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry recalled diplomats and embassy staffers from Baghdad earlier this week.

"The embassy staff in Iraq is returning home," Kuwait's ambassador to Iraq, Ali Al Momen, said.

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The order came in the wake of a rocket attack on the Kuwaiti embassy on July 12. Officials said three rockets fell near the Kuwaiti embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone, Middle East Newsline reported.

Al Momen said the rockets did not cause any injuries at the embassy. The ambassador said that following the attack he drove to Baghdad International Airport and flew back to Kuwait.

The Kuwaiti withdrawal took place amid an escalation in Shi'ite attacks on the U.S. military and its Western allies. Officials said Iraqis, including parliamentarians, have threatened the Gulf Cooperation Council sheikdom.

Iraq's parliament had demanded the ouster of Al Momen amid tensions over Kuwait's plan to build a nuclear facility near the Iraqi border. In mid-July, the Kuwaiti Cabinet said it was abandoning its nuclear energy program, but asserted that the sheikdom would build port facilities at Mubarak Al Kabir, located across from the Iraqi port of Basra.

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