Iraqi PM receives phone call from Pompeo

Iraqi PM receives phone call from Pompeo

FILE PHOTO: Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi delivers a joint statement with French President Emmanuel Macron (not seen) at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, May 3, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has received a phone call from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Abdul Mahdi’s office said in a brief statement on Monday.

The office did not specify what was discussed. Iraq denied on Sunday that its territory had been used to carry out attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that the United States was “locked and loaded” for a potential response to the attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, after a senior U.S. administration official said Iran was to blame.

The official told reporters that evidence from the attack, which hit the world’s biggest oil-processing facility, indicated Iran was behind it, instead of the Yemeni Houthi group that had claimed responsibility.

Pompeo also said there was no evidence the attack had come came from Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Houthis for over four years in a conflict widely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Muslim rival Iran.

Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces, an umbrella of paramilitary groups backed by mostly Shi’ite Iran, are influential in parliament and have allies in government.

Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Kevin Liffey


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