U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper delivers a speech during a commemoration ceremony for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge at the Mardasson World War II memorial monument in Bastogne, Belgium December 16, 2019. (Reuters/Francois Lenoir)

WASHINGTON/BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Monday he spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi amid a spate of attacks on bases housing U.S. forces in Iraq and called on Baghdad to take steps to get the situation under control.

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U.S. Air Force airmen from the 405th Expeditionary Support Squadron work together to clear debris inside the passenger terminal the day after a Taliban-led attack at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Dec. 12, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Brandon Cribelar)

Blasts from Taliban car bombs outside of Bagram Airfield on Wednesday caused extensive damage to the base's passenger terminal, new pictures released by the 45th Expeditionary Wing show.

The pictures, which are part of a photo essay called "Bagram stands fast," were posted on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service's website on Thursday.

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