Protesters storm U.S. Embassy in Iraq
by Harvest Prude
Posted 12/31/19, 11:40 am
Iraqi Shiite militia supporters lit fires, threw rocks, and chanted, “death to America,” at the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad on Tuesday. U.S. security guards fired tear gas in an effort to disperse the demonstrators, who broke through the gates of the compound and were preparing to stage a sit-in. On Twitter, President Donald Trump accused Iran of orchestrating the attack and urged Iraq to protect the compound. Iraqi security forces did not stop the protesters as they entered the secure zone where the compound is located, though the military said in a statement an attack on an embassy “will be firmly prevented by the security forces and punishable by law.”
What sparked the protest? American airstrikes killed 24 members of the Iranian-backed militant group Kataib Hezbollah over the weekend. The Trump administration holds the group responsible for a missile attack on an Iraqi military base Friday that killed an American contractor and wounded other U.S. and Iraqi military personnel. No group has claimed responsibility.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.