U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo warns that Iran must be held accountable for Baghdad attacks
U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said Iran must be held accountable for its proxies’ attacks on American forces in Baghdad, warning that such violence can’t become routine.“It cannot become ordinary course that the Iranians, through their proxy forces in Iraq, are putting the lives of Americans at risk,” Pompeo told reporters on his plane as he prepared to fly from Addis Ababa to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday.
“There has to be accountability connected to those very serious attacks.”Pompeo was referring to a Feb. 16 incident in which several rockets landed inside the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad, causing minimal damage and no injuries.
The attack was the latest in a series on American forces by what the Trump administration says are Iranian-backed militias, including a strike that killed an American contractor in December.Days after the contractor’s death, the Trump administration killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike. U.S. officials said that killing was, in part, carried out to restore “deterrence” and make Iran think twice about such attacks in the future.
How Iran’s Hard-Liners Got Campaign Boost From Trump: QuickTakeDuring his visit to Riyadh, Pompeo is scheduled to meet senior Saudi leaders and visit Saudi Aramco’s Khurais oil field, which was targeted in a missile attack in September that both the kingdom and the U.S. blame on Iran. Tehran denied involvement in that incident.