Protesters attempted to storm the US embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday, scaling the walls and forcing the gates of the compound, as hundreds demonstrated against American airstrikes on an Iran-backed militia group in Iraq.
Hundreds of pro-Iranian protesters marched through an area of the Iraqi capital that is usually restricted, with members of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units, a coalition of predominantly Shiite militias, among them. Video and photos on social media show demonstrators smashing the windows of the embassy and burning items outside its walls.
The US carried out the airstrikes Sunday, in which at least 25 people were killed and 51 wounded. The strikes targeted five facilities controlled by Kataib Hezbollah in Iraq and Syria. Kataib Hezbollah is a militia group that falls under the Iran-backed Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq.
The strikes represent the first significant US military response in retaliation for attacks by the militia group that have injured numerous American military personnel, according to US officials.
Iraq’s government warned on Monday that its relations with the US were at risk following the strikes.
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) December 31, 2019