Lindsey Graham sounds off with pride for Trump: ‘There will be no Benghazis on his watch’

[sharenow]

President Trump and his administration made it clear to Iraq’s government that American personnel in the country are expected to be kept safe in the wake of the embassy attack in Baghdad.

Trump declared in a tweet Tuesday morning that “we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!”

(Image: Los Angeles Times video screenshot)

U.S. lawmakers have also urged Iraq to cooperate after Iraqi Shiite militiamen and those supporting them set upon the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, smashing the door and setting a fire as protests escalated over U.S. airstrikes over the weekend.

Trump blamed Iran for the embassy assault but defended the airstrike, which killed members of the Iran-backed militia, saying the U.S> “strongly responded” to another attack which killed an American contractor.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi and, in a separate phone call, with Iraq’s President Barham Salih on Tuesday. Pompeo reportedly “made clear the United States will protect and defend its people, who are there to support a sovereign and independent Iraq,” according to a statement from State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus.

The Iraqi leaders “assured the secretary that they took seriously their responsibility and would guarantee the safety and security of U.S. personnel and property,” Ortagus added.

In a “show of force,” flares were dropped to disperse the protesting crowd by a U.S. Apache helicopter gunship and Marines were being sent to the embassy for extra security, a U.S. defense official told Fox News.

The Iraqi National Security Council had initially condemned the U.S. airstrikes in a statement, saying it “considers it a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.”

“This is a serious violation of the rules of engagement of the Coalition forces, including the US forces, in carrying out operations without the approval of the Iraqi Government,” the statement said, prompting responses from the administration.

Sen. Lindsey Graham challenged Iraq in a series of tweets, while defending Trump’s actions and applauding him for  “acting decisively,” and adding that “there will be no Benghazis on his watch.”

The South Carolina Republican was referring to the 2012 attack on the U.S. compound in Libya where four Americans were killed during the Obama administration.

Graham pointed a finger at Iran with a very clear message to “be careful what you wish for,” warning the Islamic nation to “choose your battles wisely” as Trump, unlike Obama, would not let threats against Americans go unchallenged.

In a final word to Iraq, Graham urged the nation’s leaders to step up and show that “the US-Iraq relationship is meaningful to you and worth protecting.”

Following a meeting with the president, Graham expressed that Trump expects Iraq “to step up to the plate.”

Even those on the other side of the U.S. political aisle pressed Iraq to do its part in protecting Americans in the country.

The president addressed Iraqi demonstrators who have been protesting their government for months in a separate tweet.

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[sharenow]
Frieda Powers

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