Protesters attack U.S. Embassy in Baghdad
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International media reports say protesters attacked the US Embassy in Baghdad on December 31, as hundreds demonstrated against American airstrikes on an Iran-backed militia group in Iraq.
Hundreds of militiamen and their supporters reportedly broke into the embassy compound, destroying a reception area, smashing windows and spraying graffiti on walls to protest U.S. airstrikes against an Iran-backed militia over the weekend that killed 25 fighters.
As night fell, protestors reportedly set up tents near the embassy, suggesting another day of upheaval lies ahead. Iraqi counterterrorism forces were deployed around the perimeter of the embassy, while the Pentagon announced additional Marines would be sent to Baghdad and more troops would be deployed to the Middle East in response to the embassy crisis.
U.S. President Donald Trump threatened Iran Tuesday, warning the country's leaders they will be held responsible for any death or destruction after protestors attacked the US embassy in Baghdad, according to CNN.
Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities, Trump tweeted from Florida. They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat.
CNN says that later Tuesday, while speaking with reporters as he entered a New Year's Eve gala at Mar-a-Lago, the President said he doesn't want war but that if it comes to conflict, Iran wouldn't last long.
"I don't think that would be a good idea for Iran," Trump said, adding later that a potential conflict "would go very quickly."
Protester reportedly withdrew from the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad on Wednesday after two days of clashes with American security forces, but U.S.-Iran tensions remain high and could spill over into further violence.
The withdrawal followed calls from the government and senior militia leaders. It ended a two-day crisis marked by the breach of the largest and one of the most heavily fortified U.S. diplomatic missions in the world, Time said yesterday.
Source: Asia plus