Pompeo made it clear that the U.S. holds Iran responsible for the recent attacks on Iraqi bases.
By World Israel News Staff
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Iran on Friday of a “decisive” response if U.S. 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 U.S. 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.
There have been a spate of rocket attacks on Iraqi based used by U.S. troops.
Last week saw two such attacks, one on the Al Asad base on Tuesday and the second on the Balad base on Thursday. A total of seven rockets struck the Al Asad base and five rockets the Balad base.
A U.S. official at the time said the attacks were the work of Iran-linked terrorists.
“We take these incidents seriously as do our Iraqi Security Forces partners, who are investigating these events,” said Pentagon spokesman Navy Commander Sean Robertson in an email, Bloomberg reports.
The news site reports that, “Multiple credible sources indicate the Al Asad attack was likely conducted by an Iran-aligned Shia militia group. The attack featured the use of longer-range 122mm rockets launched from sophisticated, improvised rail systems, the official said.”
Iraq has been rocked by protests in recent weeks, a major impetus for which is undue foreign influence in Iraqi affairs, particularly from Iran. The demonstrations have forced the resignation of Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi.
Iraq has taken a strong hand against the protesters. Deliberate killings, abduction and arbitrary detention are among abuses that continue against Iraqi anti-government demonstrators by unknown groups, according to a U.N. report released Wednesday, the Associated Press reported on Dec. 11.