- Thousands of violent protesters believed to be Iran-backed Iraqi militia members and their supporters attacked the US Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday.
- By Wednesday, the situation had improved, with most of the protesters retreating from the immediate area, but significant damage had already been done.
- These photos from the day after the protests show the destruction and devastation in the wake of the assault.
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Swarms of violent protesters, apparent supporters of the Iran-backed Iraqi militias targeted by recent US airstrikes, stormed the US Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday.
These photos taken Wednesday show clearly the damage caused by the attack on this diplomatic outpost.
On Tuesday, thousands of violent protesters stormed the outer gates of the embassy. They threw rocks, smashed windows, graffitied walls, and torched a reception centre and a security kiosk. The protesters failed to breach the main compound.
As the embassy was under siege, the US decided to send in Marines assigned to a special crisis-response unit to reinforce the facility alongside local security forces.
Efforts to clear militia members and their supporters from the area immediately surrounding the embassy were still going on Wednesday, but by that evening, most of the attackers had retreated.
Source: Department of State
The assault on the embassy was an apparent response to US airstrikes on Iran-backed Iraqi militias, strikes conducted in retaliation for a rocket attack that killed a US civilian contractor and wounded several service members.
President Donald Trump has blamed Iran for both the rocket attack and the assault on the embassy. Trump tweeted on Tuesday that Iran would “pay a very BIG PRICE” for damage to the diplomatic post.
Since May, the US has deployed about 15,000 troops to the US Central Command area of operations to counter Iran, and there are concerns that the events unfolding could drag the US into a proxy war with Iran or ignite a broader regional conflict.
Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the press on Thursday that the embassy was secure and said anyone who tried to overrun it would “run into a buzzsaw.”
Secretary of Defence Mark Esper said at the same briefing on Thursday that “the game has changed,” explaining that the US would take whatever steps necessary to protect US personnel and interests in the region, including preemptive strikes on Iranian-backed militias.
Source: Business Insider
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