03:37 GMT +319 October 2018
Listen Live
    Mourners chant anti government slogans while carrying the Iraqi flag-draped coffin of Mekki Yasser, a protester whose family and activists said he was killed when he participated in a protest last night, during his funeral on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018

    Safety Concerns Push US State Dept. to Close Consulate in Basra, Iraq

    © AP Photo / Nabil al-Jurani
    Middle East
    Get short URL
    3120

    The US State Department is set to close down its diplomatic presence in Basra, Iraq, and evacuate personnel stationed there amid violent protests, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday afternoon. The State Department confirmed that the consulate was placed "on ordered departure" shortly after the news broke.

    Southern Iraqi cities have seen protests over corruption, unemployment and lack of basic services in recent weeks, Sputnik News has reported, resulting in 14 fatalities and hundreds more wounded among police and protesters alike. US is shutting its consulate in Basra after weeks of protests and unrest in the city pic.twitter.com/JA82KtGwPC

    Iraqi analyst Qai al-Muatasem explained in an July interview with Sputnik that "the province of Basra gives the Iraqi government more than 95 percent of the oil extracted on its territory. At the same time, people are suffering from the lack of elementary things, for example, drinking water and electricity…The Iraqi people have found themselves amid a crisis."   

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the closure came after "increasing and specific" threats made against American infrastructure in Iraq by Iran, including indirect fire at the consulate. He also said he'd warned the government of Iran that they will be held responsible for any harm that comes to US personnel or facilities from what he called Iran's proxy forces. 

    Related:

    US 'Overall Objective' is to Curb Iranian Influence in Syria, Iraq - Professor
    Iraq Resumes Production at Mosul Oil Field After Daesh Defeat - Oil Ministry
    Iraq: Bedlam in Basra
    Tags:
    US, embassy, Iraq, Basra
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment