Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with United Nations Secretary General António Guterres about the recent attacks in Iraq.
In a statement released Monday, State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus explained that in the phone conversation both leaders discussed the attacks “that led to the tragic death of a U.S. citizen and endangered many other American lives.
“The secretary reiterated that the defensive response actions taken by the United States were aimed at deterring Iraq,” the spokeswoman said about Washington’s operation against Shiite militias in western Iraq.
Pompeo, according to the note, agreed to remain in close communication with Guterres.
The Pentagon reported Sunday that the United States carried out “defensive attacks” in Iraq and Syria against Shiite militia Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH), following the death Friday of a U.S. contractor from rockets fired at a military base in Kirkuk, Iraq.
“In response to Kata’ib Hezbollah’s repeated attacks on Iraqi bases housing coalition forces, the United States has carried out precision defensive strikes that will degrade its ability to attack the coalition in the future,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement.
He said the operations targeted three shelters of this Iranian-backed Shiite militia in Iraq and two in Syria dedicated to “the storage of weapons and command and control centers used by KH.
The Pentagon considers that Kata’ib Hezbollah is responsible for the death of a US contractor in an attack against a military base in Kirkuk with more than 30 rockets in which several US and Iraqi military were also injured.
The pro-government Iraqi People’s Multitude militias, mainly composed of Shiites, reported on Monday that 25 of their men were killed by the US attack on the headquarters of the 45th and 46th Brigades in Al Anbar province, bordering Syria.
In addition 51 militiamen were injured by the “brutal aggression”, as described in a statement by a leader of Multitud Popular, which has played a leading role in the fight against the terrorist group Islamic State (IS) in the past years and has been a key support for the regular Iraqi troops.