Having changed its name to Xe, Blackwater security firm continues protecting U.S. diplomats in Iraq – despite lacking a license to operate.
The company has plans to stay there long into the summer – far longer than previously thought – leading ground operations in parts of Iraq.
U.S. State Department officials acknowledge the company is still there, while Xe has not made any comments about a timetable for leaving.
“We follow the direction of our U.S. government client,” Xe spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell said.
Blackwater armed guards were involved in a lethal gun battle in Baghdad’s busy Nisoor Square in September 2007, which left 17 civilians dead, and another 20 injured.