The United States has, over the course of three months, affirmed its support to Iraq and the protesters, and urged the government and leadership to ensure their rights and protect them against kidnappings and assassinations.
“The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad strongly denounces the deplorable and cowardly assassination of Dijla TV correspondent Ahmed Abdel Samad and cameraman Safaa Ghali in Basra last night.”
“The ongoing assassinations, kidnappings, harassment, and intimidation of members of the press, social media activists, and pro-reform activists in Iraq by armed groups cannot continue to go unpunished.”
“Freedom of speech and freedom of expression are the cornerstones of democratic society. Respecting and upholding these rights is fundamental to the protection of democracy.”
While Iran-backed militias tried over the past few months to distort the image of Iraqi peaceful protesters, the US was not fooled, and urged Iraqi government to protect protesters.
While several attacks were launched against Iraqi bases housing US troops, the US launched “defensive” attacks against Iran-backed Kataieb Hezbollah.
Finally, it could expose the Iranian influence in Iraq to the whole world when Iran-backed IMIS miltia in Iraq besieged the US embassy in Baghdad, and threw stones at it and torched its security office through its supporters.
Pompeo said attack was “orchestrated by terrorists Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Qais Khazali, and abetted by Iranian proxies, Hadi al-Amiri and Faleh al-Fayyad. All are pictured outside our embassy.
On the other side, they have warned Iran against disrespecting its protesters or launching attacks against Iranian or American people.
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said there are some indications out there that they may be planning additional attacks by Iran-backed militias.
"That is nothing new ... we've seen this for two or three months now ... If that happens then we will act and by the way ... If we get word of attacks or some type indication ... we will take preemptive action as well to protect American forces to protect American lives."
"The game has changed and we are prepared to do what is necessary ... to defend our personnel and our interests and our partners in the region."
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday he discussed with his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, the need for cooperation to combat Iran's malign activities.
"French Minister ... and I just discussed the importance of continued U.S. and European efforts to combat ISIS in Iraq as well as our cooperation to counter Iran’s malign activities," Pompeo said.