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US urges Iraq to step up protection of US, coalition personnel

The State Department said Iraq is not doing its part to protect US and coalition forces in the country.
20 August 2019, Iraq, Bagdad: A soldier of the German Armed Forces is standing at dusk with his weapon on the verge of the German Defence Minister's visit to the international military camp Camp Taji. The minister and CDU leader is conducting political talks in the capital Baghdad and is meeting German soldiers who are involved in training local forces in the country. Photo: Michael Kappeler/dpa (Photo by Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — A week after a rocket attack killed three coalition personnel in Iraq, the State Department said today it was disappointed with the Iraqi caretaker government's performance in protecting US and coalition troops in Iraq. If the Iraqi government does not do a better job of protecting coalition forces, the United States will be forced to take actions to protect its personnel, a US official warned.

“The Iraqi government is at a decision point,” Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker told journalists on a State Department call today. “If it doesn’t take steps to hold accountable those responsible for the attacks on coalition forces, which are there at the invitation of the Iraqi government, the US will be forced to continue to protect our forces proactively.”

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