Iraqis Break Down Gate, Storm US Embassy in Baghdad, Set Fires
Brilliant idea by the US to bomb government-sanctioned paramilitaries
Dozens of protesters broke into the US embassy compound in Baghdad on Tuesday, smashing a main door and setting fire to a reception area, prompting tear gas and sounds of gunfire.
Witnesses reported smoke rising from inside the compound and said they saw at least three US soldiers on the roof of the main building inside the embassy.
It was not clear what caused the fire at the reception area near the parking lot.
A man on a loudspeaker urged the protesters not to enter the compound, saying: “The message was delivered.”
Footage of US soldiers guarding the American Embassy in #Baghdad and protestors separated by a pane of glass.
Voice heard urging people to move back. pic.twitter.com/F0Dhzhi0at
— H. Sumeri (@IraqiSecurity) December 31, 2019
The US ambassador to Iraq and other staff were evacuated from the embassy.
Earlier, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the embassy to decry US air attacks in Iraq and Syria that killed 25 fighters from an Iran-backed Shia group.
Shouting “Down, Down USA!” the crowd hurled water bottles and smashed security cameras outside the embassy grounds.
Iraq’s caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi called on the protesters to leave the compound “immediately”.
“We recall that any aggression or harassment of foreign embassies will be firmly prohibited by the security forces,” Abdul Mahdi’s office said several hours after the attack began.
رئيس مجلس الوزراء السيد عادل عبد المهدي يوجه بإعلان حالة الحداد العام لمدة ثلاثة ايام ابتداءً من اليوم الثلاثاء على ارواح شهداء قواتنا المسلحة من منتسبي اللواء ٤٥ و ٤٦ ومنتسبي الجيش والشرطة إثر الاعتداء الآثم الذي تعرضوا له أمس الأول في منطقة القائم.
انا لله وانا اليه راجعون.
— عادل عبدالمهدي (@AdilAbdAlMahdi) December 31, 2019
The US military carried out the strikes on Sunday against the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah. Washington claimed it was acting in retaliation for last week’s killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that it blamed on the group.
The protesters raised flags of the powerful paramilitary group Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces), of which Kataib Hezbollah is part, and several people climbed over the wall of the embassy and chanted “Death to America” and “No, no America”, witnesses said.
Tuesday’s attempted embassy storming took place after mourners held funerals for fighters killed in a Baghdad neighbourhood, after which they marched on to the heavily fortified Green Zone and kept walking until they reached the embassy.
الوضع حاليا من أمام السفارة الأمريكية في #بغداد
The situation now in the front of the U.S embassy in #Baghdad #Iraq pic.twitter.com/WWM9cXePjI
— IRaqiRevolution (@IRaqiRev) December 31, 2019
Security guards were seen retreating to the inside of the compound. Protesters were also seen hanging yellow flags belonging to the Kataib Hezbollah on the walls.
Reporting from Baghdad, Al Jazeera’s Simona Foltyn said there was no indication of an armed confrontation.
“This entire funeral procession, consisting mostly of PMF members and their followers, has entered through these gates without any resistance whatsoever from the Iraqi security forces that are supposed to guard the Green Zone,” she said, speaking outside the US embassy.
“We’ve seen in the past when anti-government protesters were able to enter the Green Zone but I don’t believe we’ve seen such a large number of people come this close to the US embassy,” she continued, calling the development “significant”.
A sight I didn't expect this morning when we set out to cover a funeral processions. Thousands of PMF marching through checkpoint leading to US embassy, with no effort by Iraqi sec forces to stop them pic.twitter.com/FRyL2L8vhc
— Simona Foltyn (@SimonaFoltyn) December 31, 2019
“It remains to be seen how the authorities will react and more importantly, how the US will react,” Foltyn added.
The US raids – the largest attack targeting an Iraqi state-sanctioned group in recent years – and the calls for retaliation represent a new escalation in the proxy war between the US and Iran playing out in the Middle East.
The US military said “precision defensive strikes” were conducted against five sites belonging to Kataib Hezbollah, which is a separate force from the Lebanese group Hezbollah, in Iraq and Syria.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2019
To those many millions of people in Iraq who want freedom and who don’t want to be dominated and controlled by Iran, this is your time!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2019
VIDEO: AH-64 Apaches protect @USEmbBaghdad. 🚁“We have taken appropriate force protection actions to ensure the safety of American citizens…and to ensure our right of self-defense. We are sending additional forces to support our personnel at the Embassy.”~@EsperDoD 🇺🇸🇮🇶 pic.twitter.com/amABHBAOcL
— OIR Spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto (@OIRSpox) December 31, 2019
Source: Al Jazeera
I wonder, do Pompeo Esper and Co set New Year’s Resolutions for how many folks they will kill during the following year?
too bad karma is a fable for the weak
i believe a candid camera caught the picture of a big fat blond man with small hands running around that embassy squealing like a girl
The plan is working perfectly, unrest in Iraq means more troops to keep democracy alive. Cannot invade Iran by water or air, need mass troops or Blackwater/Academi contractors to invade Iran. Iraq must remain free and a democracy … the Israeli President of America says so. Geez,send in the clowns.
won’t be that way….. the US armed forces cannot and will not attack Iran…. there is Russia and China….. a pair of boots too big for the cowards of the LGTBQ armed forces….
when a few drops are enough to let overflow and break the dams of restrain.. … these forces can’t be stopped anymore. .. empire bye bye
According to Al Masdar News … 750 more US troops on the way to Iraq. Funny, the propaganda machine in the US keeps saying … only 100, so is it 100, 750, or 850 which is my guess. And do not let the legal ability to lie about troop numbers and deployments. There are over 6000 mercenaery oh, I mean contractors in Iraq and Syria. The military do not count them as boots.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper says another 750 paratroopers will be deployed to Kuwait immediately. Another 4,000 paratroopers are being told to prepare for deployment in the days ahead.
I rest my case
this time we may see the ‘Flowers’ come out’ a welcome to the Sovereign liberators of IRAQ?
I think this represents global sentiment towards the US.
you nailed it…… that’s only the beginning….. more to come….
and the more the US may kill, the more people will stand up…. there is no more fear….. that’s what the US armed forces have unleashed is total resistance worldwide against any further US occupation …. the US is fu*ked up….. that’s a great start into 2020
Idiot Esper talks about their “right of self-defence”. Well, the folks you bombed have a right to self-defence too, do they not?
Middle East conflict discussion on Press TV with Gordon Duff.
Within the first four minutes, he claims the US is reconstituting ISIS within Syria and that Syrian oil is being stopped by Russian troops before it reaches the Turkish border.
Makes a vague claim about the Russians ultimately preventing its crossing into Iraq.
I find it “cohencidental” [sic] that one dead American contractor fostered US retaliation in Iraq as it did.
The same storyline was applied in Afghanistan a few months back to cancel peace talks and resulted in renewed US air attacks on Taliban targets.