Iran is intimately involved in this…
Iran-Backed Militants Attack U.S. Embassy in Iraq
Trump puts the Islamic Republic on notice.
Hundreds of Iranian-backed militia fighters invaded the compound of the United States embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday after breaking down the compound gate. The militants reached within 200 meters of the main building, but did not enter the main embassy buildings themselves. They lit fires, caused other damage and chanted “Death to America!” inside the compound before withdrawing to join thousands of other militia fighters and protesters outside. American soldiers responded to the incursion with tear gas, stun grenades and warning shots, wounding around 62 of the militants. No Americans were injured in the attack. The U.S. ambassador was not in the embassy when the attack occurred. U.S. diplomats and staffers onsite were reportedly assembled together in a secured safe room.
Iranian-backed Iraqi militia leaders were out in full force. “Some commanders of militia factions loyal to Iran joined the protesters outside the embassy,” according to the Associated Press. “Among them was Qais al-Khizali, the head of one of the most powerful Iranian-backed Shiite militias in Iraq who is on a U.S. terror list, and Hadi al-Amiri, the head of the state-sanctioned paramilitary Popular Mobilization Units, the umbrella group for the Iran-backed militias.”
President Trump vowed to hold Iran accountable for the embassy compound attack, as well as for the earlier rocket attack reportedly launched by a leading Iranian-backed Iraqi militia group, Kata’ib Hezbollah, that killed an American contractor. The president 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!”
The Pentagon deployed 100 additional marines in Chinook helicopters to reinforce protection of the embassy. “We have taken appropriate force protection actions to ensure the safety of American citizens, military personnel and diplomats in country, and to ensure our right of self-defense,” said U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper in a statement.