MANILA (UPDATED) - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) urged all Filipinos to leave Iraq as it raised crisis alert level 4 for that country amid rising tensions over insurgency there.
"Due to the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Iraq, the Department of Foreign Affairs has raised the crisis alert level for all areas in Iraq to Alert Level 4 (Mandatory Repatriation) except for the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, which remains under Alert Level 1 (Precautionary Phase). Kurdistan remains relatively calm and stable," the DFA said in a statement.
Under Crisis Alert Level 4, the Philippine government undertakes mandatory evacuation procedures at government expense.
The DFA said Filipinos in Iraq will be assisted by the Philippine embassy in Baghdad and the Rapid Response Team which are currently undertaking registration of overseas Filipino workers for repatriation.
"The DFA continues to closely monitor the political and security developments in Iraq," the DFA added.
There are about 900 Filipinos based in Iraq but most of them are in Kurdistan.
Aside from Iraq, Syria is also under the DFA's Alert Level 4.