US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he had discussions with the UN General Secretary, Israeli Prime Minister, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince over strikes that killed and injured dozens of Iraq’s Hashd Shaabi fighters.
Pompeo tweeted early on Tuesday (December 31) saying he had made clear to the UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres that the US airstrikes on Kata’ib Hezbollah facilities on Sunday was a “defensive action aimed at deterring Iran and protecting American lives”.
The United States launched a series of air attacks Sunday on targets both in Iraq and Syria killing at least 25 Kata’ib Hezbollah fighters and injuring 50 others. Washington claims that the strikes came after rocket attacks facilities housing US military personnel in the Arab country.
Pompeo also discussed “the attacks on coalition forces” with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, later tweeting that the US “will continue to work together to counter Iran’s destabilizing behavior”.
He told Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, “The US and Saudi Arabia will continue to work together to counter Iran’s malign behavior.”
Pompeo also had a “productive” call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, later tweeting, “We discussed US defensive strikes in Iraq and Syria to counter Iran’s threats. The U.S will take decisive action to defend its citizens and interests.”