US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unannounced visit to Baghdad on Tuesday and met with both President Barham Saleh and Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi after telling reporters the United States was concerned about Iraqi “sovereignty” while warning them to steer clear of Iran – or else.
“Generally this has been our position since the national security strategy came out in the beginning of the Trump administration,” he told reporters before heading to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister.”I wanted to go to Baghdad to speak with the leadership there, to assure them that we stood ready to continue to ensure that Iraq is a sovereign, independent nation.”
Pompeo added that his talks will also include “the security situation there, and the forces that we have in Iraq as well, ensure that we continue to support the Iraqi security forces, the ISF, and can train them, professionalize them, so that the new leadership there in Iraq can have security control inside of the country.”
Pompeo’s visit comes days after White House national security adviser John Bolton said a carrier strike group and a bomber task force had been deployed to the region to confront what the Trump administration claims are “clear indications” of threats from Iran.
The US military said Tuesday that additional forces being sent to the Middle East will also include B-52 bombers.