December 31, 2019 / 4:39 PM / 2 months ago

Iraqi leaders assure Americans' safety in call with Pompeo - State Dept

Members of Iraqi security forces stand guard as protesters and militia fighters gather to condemn air strikes on bases belonging to Hashd al-Shaabi (paramilitary forces), outside the main gate of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq December 31, 2019. REUTERS/Wissm al-Okili

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iraqi leaders guaranteed the safety of American personnel and property on Tuesday in a telephone call with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the State Department said after protesters attacked the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Pompeo spoke with Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi and President Barham Salih separately from his office in Washington.

“The Secretary made clear the United States will protect and defend its people, who are there to support a sovereign and independent Iraq. Both Abdul-Mahdi and Salih assured the Secretary that they took seriously their responsibility for and would guarantee the safety and security of U.S. personnel and property,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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