As Iraq descends further into chaos the US embassy in Baghdad is preparing to evacuate embassy staff. There is little doubt that if ISIS fighters take control of Baghdad they will target the US embassy. The staff will be moved to Jordan or other consulates in the country not under direct threat.
President Obama has also ordered a carrier, the USS George H.W. Bush, into the Persian Gulf which will further enable US military action.
The US embassy in Baghdad is evacuating personnel and increasing military security after militants captured vast swathes of territory and advanced toward the capital, officials said Sunday.
It was unclear how many staff members would be evacuated from the mission. Located within the heavily fortified Green Zone that houses much of the international presence in the city, the US embassy is the largest in the world.
Even if the evacuations are just a temporary measure the announcement is less than confidence inspiring, drawing parallels to the forced US embassy evacuation in Saigon, Vietnam.
But whether or not ISIS can actually take Baghdad or hold it is an open question. The fear has been magnified given that ISIS has apparently subjected those it has conquered to massacres.
If ISIS gains control of Baghdad the US embassy will be a major target and anyone left, if captured, will clearly be treated harshly.