Washington says Baghdad failed to ‘protect’ Americans

Washington, Dec 31 (AFP/APP): Washington has accused Iraqi authorities of having failed to “protect” US interests, the day after deadly American air strikes against a pro-Iran group sparked anger.

At least 25 fighters were killed in Sunday night’s attacks, which were in retaliation for the death last week of a US civilian contractor.

“We have warned the Iraqi government many times, and we’ve shared information with them to try to work with them to carry out their responsibility to protect us,” a senior US State Department official told reporters in Washington on Monday.

He noted that the US military and diplomats are in the country “upon the invitation of the Iraqi government.”

“So it’s their responsibility and duty to protect us.

And they have not taken the appropriate steps to do so,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Multiple attacks have in recent weeks targeted Iraqi bases where Americans are present.

On Sunday, the US-led air strikes were directed at several bases belonging to the Hezbollah Brigades.

The strikes “killed 25 and wounded 51,” according to the Hashed, which holds major sway in Iraq.

The attack was in retaliation for the death Friday of a US civilian contractor in Kirkuk in a Hezbollah Brigades rocket attack.

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