Trump Threatens to Close Iraq Embassy if Government Doesn’t Do More to Protect American Interests

The Trump administration threatened at the end of September to close the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, Iraq if the Iraqi government did not take swift action to curtail rocket attacks aimed at American interests in the region by Iranian-backed militias and other rogue armed elements. The threat sent shock waves through the Baghdad government and diplomatic community. The threat was first delivered to Iraqi President Barham Saleh by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. According to reports, Pompeo also promised that if Iraq did nothing to curtail the attacks, a “strong and violent” response against responsible groups would follow embassy closure. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… Iraq’s prime minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, was quick to respond, promising to protect foreign mission buildings. He also promised to ensure that only Iraq possessed weapons. In a meeting with 25 ambassadors and Charges d’Affaires in his office, Al-Kadhimi said, “Iraq is keen on enforcing the rule of law, the state’s monopoly on having weapons, protecting foreign missions, and diplomatic buildings.” He also accused those of carrying out the attacks of trying to destabilize Iraq and the region. Reported by MSN. Read more…