U.S. pleased Iraq doing more to protect U.S. embassy – Pompeo

(Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday the United States was pleased that the Iraqi government was doing more to protect the U.S. embassy in Baghdad from Iran-backed Shiite Muslim militias but declined to provide an update on whether Washington was still considering to shut down its embassy.

“We are happy that the Iraqis are doing more to provide increased security for our team on the ground there,” Pompeo told a State Department news conference.

Washington, which is slowly reducing its 5,000 troops in Iraq, threatened last month to shut its embassy unless the Iraqi government reins in Iran-aligned militias that have attacked U.S. interests with rockets and roadside bombs.

A spokesman for Kataib Hezbollah, one of the most powerful Iran-backed militia groups in Iraq, on Sunday said it has suspended rocket attacks on U.S. forces on condition that Iraq’s government present a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops.

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