US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (file photo)
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (file photo)

US informs key allies about 'defensive' strikes in Iraq, Syria

ANI | Updated: Dec 31, 2019 09:35 IST


Washington [US], Dec 31 (ANI): US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday (local time) held telephonic calls with several world leaders including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and discussed the recent defensive strikes conducted by the US in Iraq and Syria on five targets of Iran-backed Hezbollah group.
Pentagon on Sunday said that it had struck three locations in Iraq and two in Syria controlled by Kataib Hezbollah. The strikes were made through Air Force F-15E fighter planes. Jonathan Hoffman, the chief Pentagon spokesman said that the targets included weapons storage facilities and command posts that were used to attack American and partner forces and that they were carried out in retaliation to a rocket attack on Friday in which an American contractor was killed.
"Netanyahu and I had a productive call today. We discussed US defensive strikes in Iraq and Syria to counter Iran's threats. The US will take decisive action to defend its citizens and interests," tweeted Pompeo.
Pompeo also talked to Saudi and Abu Dhabi Crown Princes to inform the key gulf allies about the strikes, in which at least 24 people were killed and more than 50 wounded.
"Productive conversation with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss the attacks against Coalition Forces on Friday. The U.S. will respond decisively to Iranian attacks. The U.S. and #SaudiArabia will continue to work together to counter Iran's malign behaviour," Pompeo said in a tweet.
"Productive conversation with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to discuss the attacks against Coalition Forces in Iraq on Friday. The U.S. will continue to work together to counter Iran's destabilizing behaviour," he added.

It is important to note that Iran, which has long supported Kataib Hezbollah by providing weapons and other lethal aid, has condemned the strikes, calling the action an act of terrorism by Washington.
Earlier in the day, Pompeo spoke to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres regarding the strike. The US state secretary said he made it clear to Guterres that the action was aimed at "deterring Iran and protecting American lives".
"Today I spoke with @UN Secretary-General @antonioguterres following the U.S. response to recent attacks in Iraq. I made clear that our defensive action was aimed at deterring Iran and protecting American lives," Pompeo tweeted. (ANI)

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