US warns Iraq of Baghdad embassy closure if attacks continue

FILE - The U.S. Embassy is seen from across the Tigris River in Baghdad, Iraq Jan. 3, 2020. The Trump administration has signaled it could close its diplomatic mission in Baghdad if measures are not taken to control rogue armed elements responsible for a recent spate of attacks against U.S. and other interests in the country, Iraqi and U.S. officials said Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed, File)

BAGHDAD (AP) — U.S., Iraqi and other officials say the Trump administration has warned Iraq that it will close its embassy in Baghdad if the government does not take swift and decisive action to end persistent rocket and other attacks by Iranian-backed militias and rogue armed elements on American and allied interests in the country. A U.S. official said the warning was clear and given to both Iraq’s president and prime minister but that it was not an imminent ultimatum. There should be “no confusion” among Iraqi leaders about how seriously the U.S. takes the threat to its personnel and property, according to the official who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.