Angry Protesters Storm U.S. Embassy Compound In Baghdad

By Bill Galluccio

December 31, 2019

A large crowd of Iraqi protesters stormed the gate of the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad in response to a series of airstrikes targeting an Iranian-backed militia over the weekend. Dozens of protesters, many of whom were wearing military fatigues, managed to get past an entrance used by cars, forcing U.S. troops to fire tear gas and warning shots to keep them from accessing the main building.

The protests began after hundreds of people attending funerals for those killed in the U.S. airstrikes started marching through the heavily fortified Green Zone in the Iraqi capital. They carried burning American flags and chanted "Down, Down USA" while throwing water bottles and disabling security cameras around the perimeter.

U.S. officials said staff at the embassy had not been evacuated from the compound, adding that Ambassador Matthew H. Tueller was out of the country on vacation. At least 20 protesters were injured as they clashed with security forces.

President Donald Trump accused Iran of orchestrating the protest and promised to hold the country accountable.

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!

Photo: Getty Images

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