IRAQ has been urged to "step up" in its defence of US forces in the Middle East against Iran-backed militia attacking the US embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday.by Alessandra Scotto di Santolo Jan 2nd 2020 · 3 min read
Express. Home of the Daily and Sunday Express. IRAQ has been urged to "step up" in its defence of US forces in the Middle East against Iran-backed militia attacking the US embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday.PUBLISHED: 08:24, Thu, Jan 2, 2020
| UPDATED: 08:24, Thu, Jan 2, 2020
The warning comes from Republican Representative Mark Green who told Fox News it is time Iraq started treating the US like the ally they have been considered during the fight against ISIS. Mr Green claimed America "liberated" Iraq from ISIS fighters so it is time the American ally helped protect US forces on their territory. He stressed pulling US military forces out of Iraq “would clearly be interpreted by Iran as running away just as we did after Somalia”.
He continued: “Bill Clinton basically pulled all our forces out as soon as we got a black eye and that empowered Bin Laden to say these Americans won’t stick a fight.
“So we cannot do that. Especially now, we’ve got to stay.
“What we need is Iraq to step up and be the ally that we’ve certainly treated them.
“Iraq was invaded by ISIS and we came back and basically liberated them from ISIS.
“So they need to do their job to protect our forces and our assets and our embassy.”
READ MORE: US responds to Iraqi protesters attack on American embassy
Iraq news: US urges Iraq to 'step up' in fight against Iran (Image: GETTY)
Iraq news: More US troops deployed to Middle East after US embassy attack in Baghdad (Image: GETTY)
It comes as US President Donald Trump has ordered the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division’s alert brigade to deploy to Kuwait with immediate effect, following an attack on the American embassy by supporters of an Iranian backed militia.
President Trump warned Iran that it “will pay a very big price” for any damage or loss of life to US citizens in the embassy.
The US leader said: “This is not a warning, it is a threat.”
On Tuesday the US Defence Secretary, Mark Esper, confirmed that 750 paratroopers were already on their way to the Middle East.
He added that additional troops were preparing to deploy over the coming days, as the US ramps up its response to the crisis.
Three US defence officials told the US TV channel Fox News that the deployment would involve 4,000 soldiers.
Mr Esper said on New Year’s Eve: “This deployment is an appropriate and precautionary action taken in response to increased threat levels against U.S. personnel and facilities, such as we witnessed in Baghdad today.”
In a further tweet, the Defence Secretary wrote: “The United States will protect our people and interests anywhere they are found around the world.”
DON'T MISS:Iran vs US: Ayatollah condemns US airstrikes and warns Trump [VIDEO]Trump warns Iran ‘will be held responsible’ for attack on US Embassy [INSIGHT]US Embassy in Iraq under attack as protesters storm building [PICTURES]
Iraq news: Iraqi security forces are deployed in front of the US embassy in the capital Baghdad (Image: GETTY)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the outrage an act of “state-sponsored terrorism” that was “abetted by Iranian proxies” in an interview with CBS News.
The US compound in Baghdad was attacked by some 6,000 demonstrators furious over the deaths of militia members in US air strikes.
On Sunday night US jet fighters bombed five weapon depots in Iraq and Syria controlled by the Iranian backed militia Kataeb Hezbollah, killing at least 25 people and wounding 51.
The raids were in retaliation for last week's 36-rocket attack which killed an American contractor and injured several others at a base in Kirkuk, 170 miles north of Baghdad.