In a tweet Tuesday morning, the U.S. President Donald Trump accused Iran of “orchestrating” the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad by dozens of Iraqi Shiite militiamen and their supporters. U.S. guards utilized tear gas, and palls of smoke rose to prevent the crowd from moving toward the main building.
The protesters, dressed in militia uniforms, shouted “Down, down the USA!” and “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” outside the diplomatic premises, hurling water and stones over its walls. Some of them smashed the gates used by cars to enter the building and pushed into the compound. They stopped only 200 meters away from the main building, according to the Associated Press journalists on the spot.
The demonstrators raised their traditional yellow flags and hung a poster on the wall saying, ”America is an aggressor.” They reportedly set on fire three trailers used by our soldiers, but no one was reported injured.
The U.S. ambassador to Baghdad, Matthew Tueller, and other staff members were evacuated, Iraqi Foreign Minister confirmed.
Our President also highlighted that Washington would hold Tehran “fully responsible” for violence targeting U.S. citizens. In addition, Trump also criticized the local authorities for not doing enough to protect the Green Zone holding the embassy.
The attack on our diplomatic mission in Baghdad is the worst political crisis for the United States in Iraq in recent history. The mob of marchers followed deadly U.S. airstrikes on Sunday that killed 25 soldiers of the Iran-backed militia in Iraq, the Kataeb Hezbollah.
Washington said the airstrikes were in response to the last week’s killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that it had blamed on the militia.
Iraq’s interior minister, Yassine al-Yasseri, who arrived on the spot, also confirmed that adding that the government has warned the U.S. that the weekend strikes would cause a reaction.
The U.S. Secretary Mike Pompeo has discussed the attack with the Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi and President Barham Salih over the phone, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus confirmed.
In her words, Pompeo made it clear that Washington would protect and defend its citizens in Iraq. He also emphasized that the local authorities should guarantee the safety of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Baghdad.
The Pentagon reportedly sent two helicopters to fly over the mission, and about 100 Marines will be deployed to the embassy, Bloomberg reported citing internal sources.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with President Trump’s statement that Iran stays behind the attack?