Daily US Times, Baghdad: The U.S. embassy in Baghdad is attacked by angry protesters after a deadly U.S. airstrike targeting an Iranian-backed Iraqi militia which killed 25 of them.
U.S. troops fired tear gas to disperse the crowd that breached the outer wall of the compound. Protesters set alight a guard post on the street nearby.
The Embassy is located in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone.
President Trump accused Iraq of ‘orchestrating’ the attack and said it would be ‘held fully responsible’.
President Trump tweeted: ‘Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many. We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. They will be held fully responsible. In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!’
Both Iraq and Iran reacted heavily after the U.S. airstrikes on the Iraqi militia group Kataib Hezbollah.
Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, commander of Kataib Hezbollah warned that the militia’s response ‘would be very tough on the American forces in Iraq’.
Iran US airstrike is a ‘clear example of terrorism’.
Thursday’s protest was held after the funerals of the militia fighters who were killed.
What we know so far
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi has strongly condemned the Sunday’s U.S. airstrikes.
Citing this as a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty, Mr Mahdi said that his country would jow review its relationship with the U.S.
U.S. forces targeted the Kataib Hezbollah militia in relation for several attacks in the Iraqi bases which are now used by the U.S. military.
The Iraqi PM’s office released a fierce statement after the attack which said ‘The prime minister described the American attack on the Iraqi armed forces as an unacceptable vicious assault that will have dangerous consequences’.
Mr Mahdi also told that he tried to inform the militia members about the impending airstrike.
The statement said, ‘American forces acted on their political priorities, not those of the Iraqis, and that such strikes’ violate the sovereignty of Iraq’.
The incident ‘force Iraq to review its relations and its security, political and legal framework to protect its sovereignty’, it added.
Iraqi foreign ministry said in a tweet that the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad would also be summoned to discuss the matter.
The tweet also includes Iraq will not ‘be allowed to be a battlefield, a passage to carry out attacks, or a place [to be used] to harm neighbouring countries’.
Washington accused Iraq of failing to ‘protect’ U.S. interest in the country. A senior U.S. state department official told reporters in Washington Iraqi government have been warned by the U.S. many times and they have shared information with them to try to work with them to carry out their responsibility to protect us as their invited guests.
In recent weeks, several attacks targeted to Iraq bases where U.S. troops and civilians were present. The U.S. blamed pro-Iran factions for these attacks.
Sunday’s airstrikes in Iraq and Syria were the response from U.S. side for the killing of a U.S. civilian contractor.
Officials have said the U.S. was prepared to take further actions to deter attacks by Iranian proxies.
Kataib Hezbollah that receives financial and military support from Iran is a powerful Iraqi Shia militia.