(USNewsMag.com) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani on Monday, October 23rd, regarding the recent threats and attacks on U.S. personnel and coalition partners in his country following the increase in regional tensions as the Israel-Hamas conflict rages on.
The State Department highlighted the recent condemnation of the attacks on U.S. personnel by Sudan’s government and claimed that the two were attempting to work to maintain regional stability.
The Reuters report also highlighted Iraq’s humanitarian contributions to the people of Gaza, including several shipments of food, water, and medical supplies.
The pair also renewed the bilateral agreement known as the Strategic Framework Agreement, which affirms the Iraqi-U.S. partnership in the wake of Saddam Hussein’s ouster over a decade ago.
Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed on Sunday that U.S. military forces would get involved in the Middle East if American civilians or the military continued to be targeted.
Claiming to avoid escalating the conflict, Blinken said the U.S. would react aggressively should its forces become targets. Paradoxically, Austin said the U.S. was sending more troops into the region to “send a message” to anyone looking to escalate.
Blinken has recently completed a tour of countries in the region, visiting with leaders and officials in an attempt to calm tensions and avoid other countries getting directly involved in the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
He had previously suggested that Iranian proxy groups may take the opportunity to engage in terrorism against U.S. targets in the area. Iran’s official state policy views the United States and Israel as enemies. Biden has called for calm and urged peace while maintaining support for Israel.
The Israeli military continues to exchange gunfire with armed militant groups in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as the northern Lebanese/Israeli border, where Hezbollah maintains a military presence. Hezbollah and Hamas are both supported by Iran, according to U.S. and Israeli intelligence officials.
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