By Umar Farooq
WASHINGTON (AA) – The White House threatened Tuesday to hold Iran responsible for any attacks by Tehran’s allies on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Iraq.
In a written statement, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Iran did not act to stop “attacks by its proxies in Iraq, which it has supported with funding, training and weapons".
"The United States will hold the regime in Tehran accountable for any attack that results in injury to our personnel or damage to United States Government facilities. America will respond swiftly and decisively in defense of American lives."
Sanders was referring to incidents in Iraq over the weekend in which American facilities had come under threat.
On Saturday, several rockets were fired towards Basra airport in the country’s south, which also houses the U.S. consulate. The same day, rockets were fired in Baghdad towards the heavily fortified Green Zone, where the U.S. embassy is located.
The incidents occurred days after protesters torched government buildings in Basra amid growing unrest over high unemployment and poor public services.
Angry mobs in Basra also torched the Iranian Consulate on Friday.
Since July 9, Iraq’s Shia-majority central and southern provinces — especially Basra — have been rocked by protests demanding better public services, more job opportunities and an end to government corruption.
At least 30 people have been killed and scores injured since the protests began, according to Iraqi authorities.