Washington will act in “self-defense” in Iraq if its military comes under attack, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
US bases in Iraq have been repeatedly shelled recently and several servicemen have been killed and injured.
Pompeo told Iraqi PM Adil Abd al-Mahdi that Baghdad “must defend Coalition personnel supporting the Iraqi government’s efforts to defeat ISIS,” the US Department of State said in a statement on Monday.
Those “responsible for the attacks must be held accountable,” the official warned, adding that Washington “will not tolerate attacks and threats to American lives” and will take “action as necessary in self-defense.”
Back in January, the Iraqi parliament passed a non-binding resolution, urging all foreign militaries, including the US to withdraw from the country.
The landmark decision came after the US assassinated Iranian top general Qassem Soleimani and deputy chief of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a drone strike outside Baghdad.
The US was quick to refuse withdrawal, yet its forces have been repeatedly attacked throughout the country since then.
The response from Mike Pompeo came at a time when Iraq was bombed a couple of days ago.
The US retaliated and in a tweet, Mike Pompeo warned the Iraqi Govt that if attacked, the US will spare no moment to take action in self-defense.
Iraq was attacked in the past when the country was accused of possessing weapons of mass destruction.
At that time US President George W Bush accused Saddam Hussain of making the nuclear weapon.
However, after the attack the US took back its accusation and declared Iraq a nuclear free state.