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Pompeo Warns Iran of 'Decisive Response' over Iraq

Pompeo Warns Iran of 'Decisive Response' over Iraq

Saturday, 14 December, 2019 - 07:00
FILE PHOTO: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a joint news conference in The Hague, Netherlands June 3, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw/File Photo

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday warned Iran of a "decisive" response if US interests are harmed in Iraq, after a series of rocket attacks on bases.

"We must... use this opportunity to remind Iran's leaders that any attacks by them, or their proxies of any identity, that harm Americans, our allies or our interests will be answered with a decisive US response," Pompeo said in a statement.

"Iran must respect the sovereignty of its neighbors and immediately cease its provision of lethal aid and support to third parties in Iraq and throughout the region," he said.

The United States has expressed mounting concern about the flurry of attacks on Iraqi bases used by US troops, several of which it has blamed on Iranian-backed groups.

Two rocket attacks this week targeted a compound near Baghdad International Airport, which houses US troops, with an incident Monday wounding Iraqi troops.

"We hope and pray these brave Iraqis will quickly and fully recover from their injuries," Pompeo said.

Pompeo, who has repeatedly warned Tehran, pinned the blame for the latest attacks squarely on "Iran's proxies."

President Donald Trump's administration has been trying to counter Tehran's influence around the region, including through sanctions aimed at blocking all its oil exports.

The United States last week imposed sanctions on three leaders of the Popular Mobilization Forces, accusing them of taking part in the deadly crackdown on nationwide protests.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi resigned after the two months of demonstrations in which around 460 people have died.

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