U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he had discussions with the UN General Secretary, Israeli Prime Minister, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince over attacks on American forces in Iraq and Washington’s retaliation.
Pompeo tweeted early on December 31 saying he had made clear to the UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres that the U.S. airstrikes on Iran-backed Iraqi militia on Sunday was a “defensive action aimed at deterring Iran and protecting American lives”.
After several rocked attacks on facilities housing U.S. military personnel by Iran-backed Shiite militia in Iraq, the United States launched a series of air attacks Sunday on targets both in Iraq and Syria killing at least 25 suspected militiamen.
The targeted group has vowed retaliation and the Iraqi government has condemned the U.S. action as a violation of its sovereignty.
Pompeo also discussed “the attacks on coalition forces” with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, later tweeting that the U.S. “will continue to work together to counter Iran’s destabilizing behavior”.
He told Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, “The U.S. and Saudi Arabia will continue to work together to counter Iran’s malign behavior.”
Pompeo also had a “productive” call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, later tweeting, “We discussed U.S. defensive strikes in Iraq and Syria to counter Iran’s threats. The U.S. will take decisive action to defend its citizens and interests.”