The State Department on Sunday said the US would remain “fully equipped to carry out its national security mission” in Iraq despite the evacuation of some embassy workers, as Republicans slammed the Obama administration over the growing Middle East crisis.

Responding to reports that embassy workers will be evacuated in the face of the continuing Islamic insurgency, the Pentagon confirmed some staff were being relocated.

But State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said: “Overall, a substantial majority of the US embassy presence in Iraq will remain in place and the embassy will be fully equipped to carry out its national security mission.”

The Pentagon press secretary, Rear Admiral John Kirby, issued a statement which said: “At the request of the State Department, the US military is providing security assistance for our diplomatic facilities in Baghdad.

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