Germany suspends military training operations in Iraq, Kurdistan

Clay Curtis
May 16, 2019

Iran's Foreign Ministry has called the tanker attacks "worrisome and dreadful" and called for an investigation.

His comments come as tensions escalate in the region, with the U.S. deploying an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers in response to Iran-related threats.

From pulling the US out of the Iranian nuclear deal a year ago to cracking down on Iranian petroleum exports last month, the Trump administration has continued to take aggressive stances toward Iran.

But a spokesman for the U.S. military's Central Command later disputed Gen Ghika's comments, saying they ran "counter" to the credible threats identified by United States and allied intelligence agencies.

"We will also retaliate and retaliate hard when we see the Houthis hit civilian targets within Saudi Arabia", Gargash said.

Under the accord negotiated by Mr Trump's predecessor Mr Barack Obama, Iran agreed to curb its uranium enrichment capacity, a potential pathway to a nuclear bomb, in return for sanctions relief.

The United Arab Emirates, a key USA ally in the region, has even said it is committed to a "de-escalation" with Iran.

Pelosi warned that the administration can not rely on the last use of force authorization approved by Congress almost 20 years ago for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Spokesmen for two of the groups told Reuters that the talk of threats to United States forces was "psychological warfare" by Washington. "If the threat level seems to go up then we'll raise our force protection measures accordingly". "Trump needs to take a diplomatic way out".

"They said if the USA were attacked on Iraqi soil, it would take action to defend itself without coordinating with Baghdad". A United States official told Reuters late on Wednesday that the evacuation was complete.

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The United States has sent further military forces to the Middle East, including an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers and Patriot missiles, in a show of force against what USA officials say are Iranian threats to its troops and interests in the region.

Chris Ghika, deputy commander of the global coalition against the Islamic State group, told reporters that measures in place to protect U.S. forces and their allies from Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria were "completely satisfactory".

The United States Wednesday ordered non-emergency staff evacuated from its Baghdad embassy due to an "imminent" threat from Iranian-linked Iraqi militias, but President Donald Trump predicted Iran would "soon" want to start talks.

It was unclear how many were affected, and there was no word on any specific threat.

Germany, which has 160 soldiers in Iraq, and the Netherlands which has 169 military and civilian staff, suspended military training operations, citing regional tensions.

"We fundamentally do not seek war with Iran", Pompeo said during a visit to Sochi, Russia, this week.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, seen in 2009, reportedly said of the USA that 'neither we, nor them is seeking war. "The United States Congress must do everything it can to prevent the Trump administration's attempts to put us on the brink of a catastrophic and unconstitutional war with Iran that could lead to even more deaths than the Iraq War".

The Trump administration has alleged that Iran or its allied forces could launch an imminent attack on American troops or USA allies in the region.

The US has about 5,000 troops in Iraq and about 2,000 in Syria as part of the coalition campaign to defeat the Islamic State group there.

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