23:20 GMT26 February 2020
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    PARIS (Sputnik) - France stepped up security measures to protect military personnel in Iraq after a US strike on an Iranian commander in Baghdad heightened tensions in the region, the French Defence Minister said Tuesday.

    "After events in Baghdad we raised the security level of 160 French troops in Iraq starting last Friday", Florence Parly tweeted.

    Parly argued that France had a stabilizing presence in Iraq. She called on Iran to exercise restraint and return to the nuclear deal, which it said Sunday it was no longer bound by.

    Separately, the French Foreign Ministry has updated its travel advisory for Iran to warn French citizens against going to the country over regional security concerns. Those already in Iran were asked to avoid public gatherings.

    The Iraqi parliament has demanded that all foreign troops withdraw from the country but Washington said its forces were staying. A US general’s letter announcing the pullout of the international coalition appeared on social media but was rejected by the Pentagon as a mistake.

    Tensions between Iran and the United States soared after Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani was killed last Friday on the orders of US President Donald Trump. Tehran has vowed revenge.

    Tags:
    Quaseem Soleimani, Iraq, France
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