Iraq

Iraqi PM urges US to de-escalate tensions in region

Iraqi PM Adel Abdul Mahdi has, in a phone call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, stressed the need for the de-escalation of tensions in the region.

In the Monday phone conversation, Iraqi PM called for the respect of his country’s sovereignty by everyone, according to a statement by his office.

He also condemned Sunday’s attack on the American embassy in Baghdad, and pledged to beef up security to protect the diplomatic mission.

Pompeo, in turn, expressed outrage at the continued assaults against US facilities in Iraq, and urged the Iraqi premier to uphold his country’s “sovereignty” in the face of “attacks” on US facilities in Iraq.

At least one rocket struck a dining facility at the US embassy compound in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Sunday.

A US official told CNN that one person was injured in the attack, but that the injury was minor and the individual had since returned to duty.

It was the third such attack on the US embassy this month but was the first time the complex had been directly hit.

Iraq’s resistance movements, including the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), have denied any involvement in the attack.

The American embassy in Baghdad — the world’s largest — lies within the fortified neighborhood, also known as the International Zone, which is surrounded by concrete walls.

The development came two days after nearly a million Iraqis took part in a huge march in the streets of Baghdad to demand immediate withdrawal of all US forces from the country. The massive rally came after influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on Iraqis to stage “a million-strong, peaceful, unified demonstration to condemn the American presence and its violations.”

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