STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Pompeo postpones Ukraine trip due to situation in Iraq

The US military is deploying additional troops to the Middle East following protests at the US embassy in Baghdad. Approximately 750 soldiers have been deployed to the region as a precautionary action, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said in a statement. CNN's Ryan Browne has more.

Posted: Jan 1, 2020 1:40 PM
Updated: Jan 1, 2020 1:40 PM

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo postponed a planned trip to Ukraine to deal with the ongoing developments out of Baghdad, the State Department announced Wednesday.

"Secretary Pompeo must postpone his visit to Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Cyprus due to the need for the Secretary to be in Washington, D.C., to continue monitoring the ongoing situation in Iraq and ensure the safety and security of Americans in the Middle East," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement. "Secretary Pompeo's trip will be rescheduled in the near future and he looks forward to the visit at that time."

Following a second day of protests, a State Department spokesperson said Wednesday that "the situation around Embassy Baghdad has improved," but that efforts by Iraqi government security forces "to clear militia members from the area immediately surrounding the embassy continue."

"As of Wednesday evening, most individuals have left the immediate area," the spokesperson said. "Though the situation around the Embassy perimeter has calmed significantly, post-security posture remains heightened."

Iraqi security forces regained control of the area around the US Embassy on Wednesday after paramilitary groups asked their supporters to "withdraw." A spokesperson for Kataib Hezbollah told CNN, "We have issued the order for everyone to withdraw, because America should have received our message."

The embassy announced Wednesday that all public consular services had been suspended "until further notice."

"Due to militia attacks at the U.S. Embassy compound, all public consular operations are suspended until further notice. All future appointments are cancelled. U.S. citizens are advised to not approach the Embassy," the embassy said in a statement posted on its website. The State Department has long warned US citizens against traveling to Iraq "due to terrorism, kidnapping, and armed conflict."

On Tuesday, hundreds of protesters stormed the US Embassy in Baghdad in response to US airstrikes on Kataib Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed militia, in Syria and Iraq. Administration officials and lawmakers blamed Iran for instigating the protests, in which demonstrators scaled the walls and forced the gates of the American compound. The embassy was placed under lockdown but was not evacuated, an embassy official said, and a State Department spokesperson insisted that "there has been no breach."

President Donald Trump warned Tuesday evening that "Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities." Officials stressed their commitment to the safety of US personnel in Baghdad, and additional forces were deployed for protection.

Pompeo was slated to travel later this week to Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Cyprus. His first stop was expected to be in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, where he would have been the first administration official to visit since Trump's impeachment by the House. Pompeo was scheduled to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as well as the foreign minister, defense minister and members of civil society and the business community during that visit, the State Department said Monday.

Huntsville
Overcast
40° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 34°
Florence
Overcast
44° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 38°
Fayetteville
Overcast
36° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 28°
Decatur
Overcast
40° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 34°
Scottsboro
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 34°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 244993

Reported Deaths: 3572
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson32314500
Mobile19859361
Madison13223148
Tuscaloosa13049154
Montgomery12342236
Shelby1031577
Baldwin873398
Lee775766
Morgan662650
Calhoun6301119
Etowah627666
Marshall627255
Houston525638
DeKalb485536
Cullman439442
Limestone425145
St. Clair419555
Lauderdale407854
Elmore406864
Walker3657111
Talladega351454
Jackson320423
Colbert311942
Blount292240
Autauga273542
Franklin252633
Coffee245415
Dale232654
Dallas226232
Chilton223438
Russell22193
Covington218934
Escambia198331
Chambers176850
Tallapoosa176391
Pike158614
Clarke158419
Marion140236
Winston133023
Lawrence127936
Pickens123518
Geneva12218
Marengo121524
Bibb117917
Barbour117310
Butler116541
Randolph102921
Cherokee102224
Hale97031
Clay91924
Fayette91616
Washington91219
Henry8546
Lowndes79929
Monroe78911
Cleburne77214
Macon73722
Crenshaw71130
Bullock69619
Perry6886
Conecuh68414
Lamar6798
Wilcox63518
Sumter58122
Greene42618
Choctaw42213
Coosa3444
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 363466

Reported Deaths: 4541
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby47682658
Davidson42703420
Knox18764149
Rutherford17749161
Hamilton16701152
Williamson1140080
Sumner9744137
Out of TN758152
Wilson748178
Montgomery658683
Sullivan643996
Washington6000106
Putnam591382
Maury584267
Blount549160
Madison5349110
Bradley519735
Sevier484831
Unassigned468222
Robertson377453
Tipton365938
Hamblen345560
Gibson323365
Dyer320751
Greene308272
Anderson294629
Dickson289133
Coffee281841
Bedford275630
Carter272455
Lawrence270034
Obion265950
Cumberland257236
McMinn252355
Warren240020
Roane235229
Loudon228019
Jefferson226932
Fayette225338
Hardeman224737
Weakley216937
Monroe212744
Franklin208634
Lauderdale205023
Hawkins194934
Wayne192010
Trousdale190512
Henderson185133
Macon184028
Hardin178125
White176918
Carroll174734
Marshall174420
Rhea169731
Haywood162930
Lincoln161215
Cocke160630
Cheatham158617
Overton154335
Campbell154223
Henry153619
Giles146949
Smith143819
Johnson141621
McNairy140233
Fentress121920
Hickman118219
Lake11766
Bledsoe11745
DeKalb115822
Crockett115526
Marion109819
Scott10727
Chester102520
Grainger101217
Decatur95513
Unicoi85826
Claiborne8369
Benton81314
Grundy77714
Cannon7663
Lewis76314
Morgan7306
Union7195
Humphreys7098
Jackson68410
Polk66515
Stewart59415
Houston58720
Clay55318
Sequatchie5285
Meigs48913
Perry48321
Moore3963
Pickett39013
Van Buren3672
Hancock1673

Community Events