Pentagon chief urges Iraq to stop attacks on bases housing US forces

Rocket strikes targeting Iraqi bases where members of the US-led coalition are also stationed have increased in past weeks with no claim of responsibility from any party. (File/AFP)
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Updated 16 December 2019

Pentagon chief urges Iraq to stop attacks on bases housing US forces

  • A US military official warned last week that attacks by Iranian-backed groups on bases hosting US forces in Iraq were pushing all sides closer to an uncontrollable escalation
  • Tension between the United States and Iran has risen as a result of US sanctions that are hitting Tehran hard

BAGHDAD: US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on Monday urged Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to take steps to prevent bases housing US troops from being shelled, a statement from the premier’s office said.

Esper’s call came after a senior US military official warned last week that attacks by Iranian-backed groups on bases hosting US forces in Iraq were pushing all sides closer to an uncontrollable escalation.

Rocket strikes targeting Iraqi bases where members of the US-led coalition are also stationed have increased in past weeks with no claim of responsibility from any party.

However, the US military official said intelligence and forensic analyzes of the rockets and launchers pointed to Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim militia groups.

Esper “expressed his concerns over the shelling of some installations and the necessity to take procedures to stop it,” a statement from Abdul Mahdi’s office quoted the Pentagon chief as saying during a phone call.

Abdul Mahdi warned Esper that unilateral action could have negative consequences that will be difficult to control and might jeopardize Iraq’s sovereignty.

Abdul Mahdi resigned last month under pressure from mass anti-government protests. He is carrying out his duties in a caretaker capacity.

Tension between the United States and Iran has risen as a result of US sanctions that are hitting Tehran hard. The two sides have also traded blame over attacks on oil installations, militia arms depots and bases hosting US forces.


US president awards Kuwait’s emir with rare military decoration

Updated 18 September 2020

US president awards Kuwait’s emir with rare military decoration

  • The award was accepted on behalf of the emir by his son Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah
  • The honor was granted in recognition of Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s “great efforts” and the important role he plays in the region and the world

LONDON: US President Donald Trump on Friday presented Kuwait’s emir with a rare military award during a private ceremony at the White House.
The Legion of Merit, Degree Chief Commander is a prestigious decoration that can only be bestowed by the American president and was last awarded in 1991.
The honor was granted in recognition of Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s “great efforts” and the important role he plays in the region and the world, the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.
It also reflected the “distinguished and historic” partnership between Kuwait and the US and came in advance of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, KUNA added.
The award was accepted on behalf of the emir by his son Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah.

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