Pompeo, Iraqi president discuss Turkish offensive in Syria

Washington: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke over phone with Iraqi President Barham Salih about the ongoing Turkish military operations in northeastern Syria and the situation in Iraq, said the US State Department.

The two discussed their shared concerns over Turkey’s military offensive and the need for Ankara to immediately stop it, according to a statement released by the department on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The phone conversation came after the United States on Monday rolled out a package of punishment on Turkey over its military operations in Syria, including blacklisting senior Turkish officials, halting bilateral trade negotiations and raising tariffs on steel imports from the country.

During their talks, Pompeo also condemned the recent violence in Iraq, calling those who violate human rights to be held accountable, the statement added.

Salih on Tuesday called for a national dialogue to promote reform demanded by the Iraqi people, asserting the urgent need to amend the election law, according to a statement by his office.

Salih’s remarks came after a wave of protests in many cities in central and southern Iraq over the worsening living conditions which threatened to drag the crisis-ridden state back into violence and disintegration.