Pompeo Threatens to Near U.S. Embassy in Iraq Except if Militias Halt Attacks


The foreign minister of Iraq, Fuad Hussein, traveled to Iran on Saturday to communicate with Iranian leaders, together with President Hassan Rouhani. He mentioned Mr. Pompeo’s demands, one particular official mentioned.

On Monday, two rockets killed two Iraqi girls and 3 kids at a property close to the Baghdad airport, the place some U.S. troops are stationed, Iraqi military officials mentioned. Rocket attacks aimed at web sites with Americans have occurred frequently due to the fact 2018.

Mr. Pompeo’s risk could be partly bluster aimed at galvanizing Iraqi political and military leaders and forcing the government to decide on concerning the United States or Iran, with which Shiite officials in Iraq share a religious and cultural background.

But the State Division has begun a critique method to shut the embassy, U.S. officials mentioned, with a selection anticipated prior to the Nov. three election.

Barbara A. Leaf, who was a senior diplomat in Iraq in 2010 and 2011 and later on served as ambassador to the United Arab Emirates until finally 2018, mentioned shutting down the embassy could hand Iran and Iraqi militias “a propaganda victory of epic proportions.” And issuing the risk in the initial spot was also “very risky and probably counterproductive,” she mentioned.

“This has stimulated an previously raging appetite on the element of the Iranian-affiliated militias to push tougher for what they and Iran want — the U.S. out altogether,” mentioned Ms. Leaf, who is now at the Washington Institute for Close to East Policy. “And that would considerably impair our very own nationwide safety interests, as very well as probably destabilize Iraq even further down the street.”

The approach would relocate the American ambassador to Iraq, Matthew H. Tueller, to both the U.S. Consulate in Erbil, a city in Iraq’s northern, semiautonomous Kurdish area, or to the sprawling Al Asad Air Base in western Anbar province, the place American troops are stationed and which Mr. Trump visited in December 2018.

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