The U.S. had informed Iraq that it will strike more than 80 sites linked to Iranian-backed groups, if the attacks on the Green Zone continue, the London-based Middle East Eye reported on October 8, citing Iraqi sources familiar with the matter.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shared the targets list with Iraqi President Barham Salih during a phone call on 20 September.
According to the Middle East Eye, Washington is planning to close its embassy in Baghdad and attack the targets if the Iraqi government fail to stop the repeated attacks on the Green Zone.
The targets set by the U.S. include headquarters and shelters used by Hadi al-Amiri and Qais Khazali, the leaders of the Badr Organisation and Asaib Ahl al-Haq, and positions of Kata’ib Hezbollah.
“The Americans’ message was clear. If you don’t react, we will,” a prominent Shia politician told the Middle East Eye.
In response to the U.S. threats, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi asked Iran to approve a “40-day truth,” during which its allies in Iraq will stop attacks on U.S. forces. Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein carried the request to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
The information revealed by the Middle East Eye are in line with a report of the Washington Post that was published on September 28.
While Washington is holding Iraqi-backed Shiite group responsible for the attacks on its troops and diplomatic mission in Iraq, other sides may be behind some of the recent attacks.
ISIS terrorists shelled on September 30 a U.S. military base in Haditha Dam, west of the central city of al-Ramadi. The group’s news agency shared footage of the attack on October 8.
The U.S. threats are not only harming Iraq’s stability but also encouraging ISIS to step up its attacks. The terrorist group will take advantage of any crisis between Washington and Baghdad and attempt to rise again.
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