March 16, 2020 / 12:36 PM / 15 days ago

Pompeo to Iraq PM: U.S. will take action in self-defense if attacked

WASHINGTON, March 16 (Reuters) - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi the United States would take measures in self-defense if attacked, according to a statement on Monday, after a second rocket attack on an Iraqi base that houses U.S. troops helping fight Islamic State.

“Secretary Pompeo underscored that the groups responsible for these attacks must be held accountable. Secretary Pompeo noted that America will not tolerate attacks and threats to American lives and will take additional action as necessary in self-defense,” the statement read.

The two spoke on Sunday, a day after three American troops and several Iraqi forces were wounded in the second major rocket attack in the past week on an Iraqi base north of Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi officials said, raising the stakes in an escalating cycle of attacks and reprisals. (Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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