US, Iraq: Pompeo Visits Baghdad Amid Threats From Iran

BREAKING Pompeo Makes Surprise Visit to Iraq Amid Iran Escalation

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made a surprise visit to Iraq, after cancelling planned talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The U.S. said this week that it was rushing an aircraft carrier group to the Middle East to deter or respond to any Iranian attack.

"We need to go back to the negotiating table and secure that agreement".

Pompeo move against Iran was also in conjunction with sending the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and a bomber task force to the region because of a "credible threat by Iranian regime forces", as USA national security adviser John Bolton said two days before Pompeo's visit.

In the latest U.S. move, the Pentagon said it was sending several massive, nuclear-capable B-52s to the region.

Elsewhere, Pompeo pressed the need for countries involved in the worldwide coalition against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria to take back fighters and civilians captured or held in refugee camps there.

Pompeo said: "The United States has an obligation to ensure that places where we want to operate, places where American information is, places where we have our national security resident, they operate inside trusted networks".

A helicopter carrying U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo takes off from Baghdad International Airport in Baghdad, Iraq May 7, 2019.

The concerns expressed by Pompeo and U.S. defense officials contrast with the U.S. Central Command's assessment just over a month ago.

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"Americans are in a trouble now, especially considering that U.S. troops' bases are known in Iraq and the region and can be targeted easily", a senior PMU commander, Moeen al-Kadhimi, said at a press conference two days after Pompeo's visit.

"You've all seen the reports that there have been escalating - information that indicates Iran is escalating their activity", Pompeo said. These appear to originate from Israel's Mossad, who informed the United States they think it's possible Iran might attack USA targets in the area.

Some former USA intelligence and security officials worry, however, that recent rhetoric from the White House combined with its ongoing "maximum pressure" campaign, has done just that.

"But Iran's 40 years of killing American soldiers, attacking American facilities, and taking American hostages is a constant reminder that we must defend ourselves", said Pompeo, in a reference to the 1979 Islamic Revolution in which USA diplomats were taken captive.

National Security Advisor John Bolton said the deployment was in response to a "number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings", but did not elaborate.

Late Sunday, the US announced that it is rushing an aircraft carrier group to the Middle East to deter or respond to any Iranian attack.

The UK and the United States are also in conflict over Iran. "We will hold the Iranian regime accountable for any attack on U.S. forces or our interests".

Of particular concern was Britain's developing economic relationship with China, which is understood by the Trump administration as an existential threat to its plans for global hegemony.

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