The United States has told the Iraqi government and its diplomatic partners that it’s planning a full withdrawal from its sprawling embassy in Baghdad unless Iraq reins in attacks on personnel linked to the American presence there — a move that Iraqi officials said caught them by surprise, the Washington Post reported.
“We hope the American administration will reconsider it,” Ahmed Mulla Talal, a spokesman for Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, said Sunday. “There are outlaw groups that try to shake this relationship and closing the embassy would send a negative message to them.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo notified Kadhimi of the decision Saturday night, according to an official familiar with the matter. Two Western officials in Baghdad said their country’s diplomatic missions had been informed of the plan.