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World Pompeo Warns Iran of ‘Decisive’ Response if Attacks in Iraq Continue

08:55  14 december  2019
08:55  14 december  2019 Source:   usnews.com

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday warned Tehran that continued attacks by Iranian -backed militants on bases housing American troops in Iraq "will be answered with a decisive U.S. response ."

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 "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

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday warned Tehran that continued attacks by Iranian-backed militants on bases housing American troops in Iraq "will be answered with a decisive U.S. response."

Mike Pompeo wearing a suit and tie: The Associated Press© The Associated Press The Associated Press

Iranian proxies launched rocket attacks against Baghdad International Airport on Monday and Wednesday, Pompeo said in a statement. The sprawling airport has served as a critical base for U.S. operations in Iraq beginning with the invasion in 2003 and since then as a key logistics hub for American troops who continue to strike elements of the Islamic State group. Pompeo's warning to Iran on Friday afternoon extended to "attacks by them, or their proxies of any identity, that harm Americans, our allies, or our interests."

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US 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

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

"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," Pompeo said.

The chief diplomat on Friday did not elaborate on how the U.S. would respond. The Trump administration has deployed thousands of troops to the Middle East in recent months amid what it considers to be growing threats by Iran and its proxy forces in the region, and it is reportedly considering many thousands more. However, despite fiery rhetoric, particularly from President Donald Trump himself, the White House has so far balked at answering Iranian military provocations with a military response, choosing diplomatic tools like sanctions instead.

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Pompeo and the administration has warned Iran in the past about attacks .

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.

Potentially retaliating against Iraqi militias supported by Iran also presents complicated problems for the Trump administration. Non-military Shiite Muslim fighting groups known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, or PMF, became a critical element of the ground forces during the war against the Islamic State group after the insurgent network's sweep across Iraq in 2014 that crippled the armies the U.S. had spent more than a decade raising. American military and diplomatic leaders were subsequently forced to cooperate at times with the fighting forces, some of which had questionable associations with their fellow Shiite Muslims in neighboring Iran.

The militias now report directly to the prime minister, though they operate through their own command structure independent of the Iraqi military, sometimes with local or tribal alliances.

Some of the groups have accused the U.S. and Israel of bombing their weapons facilities and bases, according to Reuters, which documented U.S. concerns about the attacks on the airport earlier this week.

"We're used to harassing fire," a military official speaking on condition of anonymity told Reuters. "But the pace of (that) was (previously) pretty episodic. ... (Now) the level of complexity is increasing, the volume of rockets being shot in a single volley is increasing and is very concerning to us."

Copyright 2019 U.S. News & World Report

Pompeo rebukes China and Russia for vetoing UN aid to Syria .
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