(Tea Party PAC) – Supporters of an Iran-backed terrorist group began a withdrawal from the US Embassy in Baghdad just one day after storming the outer perimeter, resulting in the deployment of extra troops to the region and some fiery remarks from President Donald Trump.
On December 31, dozens of attackers who were linked to the Iranian-backed militia group, Kataib Hezbollah smashed a main door to the embassy compound, setting fire to the reception area but failing to breach into the inner compound.
The attack was prompted by protests against US airstrikes which had targeted their group, killing at least 25 people.
No US casualties or evacuations were reported as the US personnel were bolstered with 100 Marines.
Demonstrators remained outside the embassy, waving Iraqi and Kataib Hezbollah flags, throwing rocks, and chanting “death to America.” They also defaced the embassy’s outer walls with scorch marks and graffiti.
US forces stationed on the rooftops of the compound fired tear gas to disperse the crowd. American Apache helicopters dropped flares around the area in what our military is calling a “show of force.”
The Epoch Times reports:
By mid-afternoon, most of the protesters appeared to have obeyed a call to withdraw, issued by the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), an umbrella group which, at the time of its formation, was composed of Iran-backed militia and terrorist groups including Kataib Hezbollah.
Young men used palm tree branches to sweep the street in front of the embassy compound, while others packed up equipment and vans arrived to take people away. Some left to set up a protest camp in front of a nearby hotel.
The protests mark a new turn in tensions between Washington and Tehran playing out across the Middle East. Iran’s economy has been crippled by sanctions Trump reimposed upon Washington’s withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Since the withdrawal, Tehran has publicly breached the nuclear deal, ramped up its nuclear program, and attacked oil shipping vessels in the Persian Gulf.
While President Trump issued some harsh words to Iran at the news of the attack, he did clarify later he has no interest in going to war. This, the Epoch Times notes, is a “measured approach is similar to last summer, when Trump called off air strikes against Iran in response to the downing of an American drone.”
On January 1, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei condemned the attacks on the US embassy, and Iran summoned a Swiss envoy which represents US interests in Tehran to gripe about “warmongering” from Washington.
In a written statement on December 31, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that “in response to recent events” in Iraq, and under Trump’s direction, he had authorized the immediate deployment of the infantry battalion from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
While the soldiers’ destination was not specified, it has been widely reported they are going to Kuwait.
“This deployment is an appropriate and precautionary action taken in response to increased threat levels against U.S. personnel and facilities, such as we witnessed in Baghdad today,” Esper.