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US: Pompeo discusses Iran with Iraqi premier

US to do 'whatever it takes' to protect American, Iraqi people, defend its collective interests, says US secretary of state

Beyza Binnur Dönmez   | 10.01.2020
US: Pompeo discusses Iran with Iraqi premier

ANKARA 

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has spoken with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi after Iran's retaliation by hitting Iraqi military bases hosting American troops.

Pompeo reiterated the U.S.' condemnation of the Iranian regime's launch of ballistic missiles early Wednesday into two sites in Iraq that host Iraqi, American, and coalition forces working together to defeat Daesh/ISIS, said State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus in a statement on Thursday.

"The Secretary underscored that, as President Trump has said, the United States will do whatever it takes to protect the American and Iraqi people and defend our collective interests," she added.

Pompeo also said on Twitter that he spoke with with Abdel-Mahdi "on Iran’s attack against Iraqi sovereignty."

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on Tuesday launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at targets in Iraq where the U.S. forces are stationed. The attacks were in retaliation for the American assassination of Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the corps' former Quds Force commander. Iranian officials claimed 80 American nationals were killed. US officials, including President Donald Trump said there were no American or Iraqi casualties.

Soleimani was killed by a U.S. airstrike on Jan. 3 near Baghdad International Airport.

The strike followed a series of tit-for-tat recriminations between the U.S. and Iran-backed forces that began with the killing of an American contractor at a U.S. base in Iraq late last month.

The U.S. retaliated with airstrikes on the Iran-backed militia it says is responsible for conducting the attack, killing dozens. The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad was then attacked on Dec. 31 by a group of enraged militiamen and demonstrators.

U.S. officials have placed the blame for the attacks on its embassy and base squarely on Soleimani's shoulders, claiming if the airstrike that killed him was not carried out hundreds of more American lives would have been lost.

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