Thursday , February 25 2021

Pompeo says 'world a safer place' after airstrike as US ambassador summoned – Sky News, Sky.com


             

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has said it is “clear the world is a safer place” after the killing of Iran’s key general in Baghdad – as Iraq summoned the US ambassador.

Mr Pompeo defended targeting Major General Qassem Soleimani in Friday morning’s airstrike outside Baghdad airport, telling ABC News the intelligence assessment on Iran’s effective second-in-command was “clear”.

He added that the US will respond with “lawful strikes” against any retaliatory attacks on American targets.

In a separate interview with MSNBC, Mr Pompeo said: “The intelligence community presented us a set of facts that made clear that the risk from doing nothing exceeded the risk of taking the action that we took. “

As the secretary of state spoke in the US, Iraqi foreign ministry summoned the US ambassador due to “repeated US airstrikes”, a statement said.

Iraqi foreign ministry denounced the airstrikes as a “blatant” violation of sovereignty and a breach of the agreement between Iraq and the US-led coalition.

It said Iraqi soil should not be used to attack its neighbouring countries and Iraqi parliament passed a resolution asking the government to end the presence of foreign troops in the country and ensure they do not use its land, air and waters for any reason.

    

        

                                      Iranian MPs unanimously chanted 'death to America' in the chamber to protest against Soleimani's assassination by the US                                                                                                                                                       Iranian MPs chant ‘death to America ‘                

Parliament resolutions are non-binding to the government, but Iraqi prime minister Adil Abdul Mahdi earlier called on MPs to end foreign troop presence.

Populist Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said the parliamentary resolution does not go far enough and called on local and foreign militia groups to unite.

He said: “I consider this a weak response insufficient against American violation of Iraqi sovereignty and regional escalation. “

The cleric also said a security agreement with the United States should be cancelled immediately, the US embassy should be closed down, US troops must be expelled in a humiliating manner, and communication with the US government should be criminalized.

  

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Image:        Major General Qassem Soleimani was killed in a US airstrike      

The US-led coalition said it has paused the training support of Iraqi military because of repeated rocket attacks, and added it is fully committed to protecting Iraqi bases housing its troops.

On Saturday , Iran threatened to punish Americans within reach of the country, naming Tel Aviv and ships sailing through the Gulf.

MrTrump**********************reacted by tweeting the US has targeted Iranian sites that “will be hit very fast and very hard “if Iran strikes any Americans or American assets.

Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif said hitting cultural sites would be a” war crime “.

He added: “A reminder to those hallucinating about emulating ISIS war crimes by targeting our c ultural heritage: Through MILLENNIA of history, barbarians have come and ravaged our cities, razed our monuments and burnt our libraries.

“Where are they now? We’re still here, and standing tall. “

    

        

                                                                                                                                                                                              Anger and prayers as general’s body returns                

Speaking after Mr Zarif’s tweet, Mr Pompeo said any target the US military may strike – if Iran retaliates – would be legal under the laws of armed conflict, which prohibits the deliberate targeting of cultural sites under most circumstances.

He also said Mr Trump has abandoned the previous US administration’s focus on countering Iranian proxy groups across the region and suggested the US airstrike that killed Maj Gen Soleimani was an example of this new strategy.

Iraqi parliament held an emergency session on Sunday where Iraqi prime minister said the US had told his government Israel was behind some attacks on militia munition warehouses in (*************************************************.

Mr Abdul-Madhi also revealed he was due to meet Maj Gen Soleimani the morning he was killed, and the general was due to deliver the Iranian’s response to “a Saudi message”.

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