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After US embassy targeted, American military convoy leaves Iraq

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An Iraqi security source revealed on Sunday, that an American military convoy of more than 50 trucks left Iraq to Syria, according to Sky News.

The departure of US forces in Iraq comes amid increasing attacks against American interests in the country since late last year.

On Sunday morning, several missiles landed near the US embassy in Baghdad, and sirens sounded throughout the US embassy compound in the fortified Green Zone, according to an American military source and diplomat residing in a nearby area.

The American embassy in Baghdad and bases comprising American forces in Iraq were subjected to 19 missile attacks since the end of last October.

No one claimed responsibility for the missile attack near the US embassy on Sunday, knowing that Washington accuses armed factions close to Iran of being behind the strikes targeting its soldiers and headquarters.

On Thursday, a Katyusha missile landed at a military base where US soldiers are stationed in Kirkuk, northern Iraq, without causing casualties.

It is the first attack on al-Qaeda since it was targeted by 30 rockets on December 27, killing an American civilian contractor and escalating between Washington and Tehran on Iraqi soil.

Washington accused the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades, which is close to Iran, of carrying out the attack, and its forces carried out raids that killed 25 fighters of the faction that pushed its supporters to attack the American embassy in an unprecedented move.

On January 3, American forces carried out an air strike near Baghdad International Airport, which killed the commander of the Quds Force in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Qassem Soleimani, and the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Forces, which includes armed Iraqi factions, including the Hezbollah Brigades, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandi






US Assistant Secretary of State to visit Egypt 
Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Marie Royce will travel to Cairo, Egypt, from February 16–21.
During her visit, Royce will discuss with Egyptian officials how to strengthen and advance the State Department’s educational and cultural diplomacy efforts with Egypt.

 Royce will meet with the Ministries of Tourism and Antiquities, Higher Education and Scientific Research; Education and Technical Education; Youth and Sports; and Foreign Affairs. She will also meet with other government officials and a delegation of senior leaders from Egyptian universities.

She will connect with Egyptian ECA exchange program participants and alumni, including those from the J. Christopher Stevens Virtual Exchange Initiative, the Education USA Competitive College Club, and the Fulbright Program. 
More than 10,700 Egyptians are alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchanges, and tens of thousands more Egyptians are graduates of U.S. institutions of higher education. They return as leaders to contribute to strengthened U.S.-Egyptian bilateral relations and solve contemporary challenges.

The Assistant Secretary will visit the American Center Cairo, an American Space that serves more than 70,000 Egyptian youth visitors each year. 
She will also support ECA and U.S. Embassy Cairo’s English language learning projects by visiting the Al Azhar University’s English Language Resource Center and meeting with English Access Microscholarship Program alumni.
 Royce will visit the Bassatine Jewish Cemetery, which is part of the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation that aims to support Egyptian heritage and the legacies of all Egyptian communities.

She will also attend an 80th anniversary celebration of the International Visitor Leadership Program and will meet with the President of the American University in Cairo to take part in festivities for the university’s Centennial celebration.

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