Iran Orders Militants in Iraq to Strike American Targets: Officials

U.S. officials claim Iranian authorities are calling on armed groups in Iraq to retaliate against American interests following a potential Syrian strike

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Thaier Al-Sudani / Reuters

Iraqi security forces stand guard at a street amid tight security measures by Iraqi security forces that sealed off the roads around a protest site in Baghdad, Aug. 31, 2013.

As Congress prepares to vote on a draft that would back military strikes against the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Iran seems to crafting its own response. According to a report published in Reuters, U.S. officials intercepted a message from Iranian authorities ordering militants inside Iraq to assault American targets in the country if Syria is bombed.

On Thursday, the U.S. State Department issued a warning against nonessential travel in Iraq as renewed sectarian bloodshed along with the civil war in neighboring Syria threatens to undermine the fragile state.