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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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 263023

Reported Deaths: 5752
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17675191
Hinds16813331
Harrison14224204
Rankin11167219
Jackson10839190
Lee9050144
Madison8568168
Jones6668114
Forrest6177124
Lauderdale6097192
Lowndes5518120
Lafayette516298
Lamar503965
Washington4923125
Bolivar4104109
Oktibbeha405982
Panola384881
Pontotoc376258
Warren3674103
Monroe3671108
Union355663
Marshall355270
Neshoba3485154
Pearl River3468105
Leflore3111109
Lincoln305688
Hancock291862
Sunflower291475
Tate279662
Alcorn272354
Pike268981
Itawamba268063
Scott259648
Yazoo255256
Prentiss252553
Tippah249250
Copiah249049
Coahoma248054
Simpson242171
Leake237367
Grenada223272
Marion222073
Covington219973
Adams213671
Wayne212634
Winston207371
George204339
Newton199046
Attala196963
Tishomingo194161
Chickasaw189044
Jasper179538
Holmes171768
Clay165837
Tallahatchie156235
Stone151425
Clarke147262
Calhoun140822
Smith129226
Yalobusha122034
Walthall114337
Greene113529
Noxubee112926
Montgomery111636
Carroll106622
Lawrence106517
Perry104531
Amite101426
Webster96124
Tunica88821
Claiborne88325
Jefferson Davis88329
Benton85623
Humphreys84624
Kemper80520
Quitman7089
Franklin69917
Choctaw63213
Wilkinson59825
Jefferson56821
Sharkey45117
Issaquena1606
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 439442

Reported Deaths: 6657
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson644371007
Mobile31435569
Madison28158217
Tuscaloosa21492275
Montgomery19873332
Shelby19248132
Baldwin17128189
Lee13137107
Morgan12594142
Etowah12070181
Calhoun11496206
Marshall10420123
Houston8988164
Limestone832081
Cullman8257124
Elmore8183110
DeKalb7871107
Lauderdale7847107
St. Clair7808130
Talladega6445112
Walker6028183
Jackson599145
Colbert548694
Blount546286
Autauga535862
Coffee460764
Dale409685
Franklin374150
Russell354215
Chilton344373
Covington338580
Escambia334544
Tallapoosa3143109
Dallas312996
Chambers303470
Clarke298036
Pike262431
Lawrence253355
Marion253161
Winston233342
Bibb222348
Geneva210247
Marengo208231
Pickens199531
Hale184944
Barbour180538
Fayette177829
Butler173160
Cherokee165131
Henry159525
Monroe152021
Randolph145536
Washington141727
Clay129746
Crenshaw123745
Macon121937
Cleburne121525
Lamar119922
Lowndes114836
Wilcox107922
Bullock103328
Perry99918
Conecuh97822
Sumter90527
Greene77923
Coosa63418
Choctaw51924
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