Pompeo warns China against 'outlandish rumors' on coronavirus

17 Mars, 2020, 01:29 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau

The Iraqi military said several Iraqi air defence servicemen were critically wounded.

But as danger from the militants had waned, tensions with Iran had escalated, and the more than 5,000 US troops serving in Iraq as part of the anti-Islamic State coalition are now in the crosshairs of Iraqi militia groups backed by Tehran.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Iraq Monday the USA would retaliate "as necessary" against any new assaults on Americans after a slew of rocket attacks.

Iraq's military said that five members of its security forces and one civilian were killed, none members of the targeted paramilitary group.

In response, the USA conducted strikes against pro-Iranian militia Kata'ib Hezbollah's weapons storage sites in Iraq.

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Iraqi miliary photographs showed a row of unused, apparently Iranian-made, 107mm Fadjr-1 rockets left behind in the area where the munitions were fired from, weapons researchers said.

On Wednesday, a similar rocket attack at Taji killed two American personnel and a British soldier in the deadliest such incident at an Iraqi base in years. "Due to operational security, we will not announce a specific timetable for the troop movements", the Coalition statement said.

Pompeo said in a phone call on Sunday with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi the US "will not tolerate attacks and threats to American lives" and that the Iraqi government "must defend coalition personnel" against jihadist attacks, according to a statement issued Monday by the US State Department.

"Secretary Pompeo underscored that the groups responsible for these attacks must be held accountable".

The U.S. -led coalition mission in Iraq began in 2014 after Islamic State militants swept across a third of the country and seized swaths of neighboring Syria as well. Our troops are re-positioning in coordination with the Government of Iraq. By the end of January, official cooperation had resumed.

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