Supporters of an Iraqi Shiite paramilitary group stormed the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and set fire to a reception room.
In Iraq, the New Year was celebrated in its own way. Shouting “Death to America” and “No to America,” stones were thrown, flags were burned and the American Embassy was stormed.
US President Donald Trump blamed Iran for the attack. Tehran responded by saying it was ready to strike against Washington.
Because of all this, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo postponed his visit to Ukraine, which was scheduled for Friday.
Correspondent.net has dealt with another escalation in the Middle East.
How it was
The attack on the embassy came after deadly U.S. airstrikes that killed 25 militants of Iraq’s Shiite paramilitary group, Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah.
The U.S. military said the airstrikes were in response to the killing of a U.S. contractor in a missile attack on an Iraqi military base.
Hezbollah is a paramilitary Shiite Iraqi group formed in 2007 with Iranian support. The U.S. believes that Kataib Hezbollah is closely associated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and has repeatedly received The Aid and Support of Iran, which has been used to attack coalition forces. According to the American administration, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is the main Iranian mechanism for supporting terrorist groups against the United States throughout the Middle East.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi said the Us airstrikes violated the country’s sovereignty and could prompt Baghdad to renegotiate relations with Washington. Hezbollah’s leader promised a tough response to U.S. action. The Iranian authorities called the airstrikes “a clear example of terrorism”.
As a result, supporters of Kataib Hezbollah gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. They set fire to the embassy security checkpoint and broke into the territory of the diplomatic mission. Demonstrators shouted the phrases ” Death to America! “No to America!” and threw stones and burned U.S. flags.
Iraqi police, through megaphones, called on the demonstrators to disperse, and then began using tear gas grenades to disperse the protesters. The American military with weapons aimed at the protesters were seen on the roof of the embassy. But it did not come to its application, the next participants of the action dispersed.
Donald Trump tweeted that the attack was orchestrated by the Iranian authorities.
“Iran will be fully responsible for the selected lives or damages in any of our institutions. They will pay a very high price! It’s not a warning, it’s a threat. Happy New Year!” he wrote.
Pentagon chief Mark Esper said that after the attack on the embassy, the U.S. authorities intend to immediately send about 750 troops to the region.
Iran denies involvement in the protests. “U.S. officials have the striking imperishability to attribute to Iran the protests of the Iraqi people against the (Washington) brutal murder of at least 25 Iraqis,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued an even sharper statement: “We do not seek war, but we strictly defend the interests, dignity, and glory of the Iranian nation. If someone threatens us, we will not hesitate to oppose it and retaliate.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine strongly condemned the attempted attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.
“Based on the principles of the sanctity of diplomatic missions and their protection by the host State, we call on the Government of the Republic of Iraq to take all appropriate measures to bring those responsible to justice and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice. the necessary level of security for foreign diplomatic missions in Baghdad,” the ministry said in a statement.
As a result of the attack on the embassy in Baghdad, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo postponed a trip to Ukraine and other countries in Europe and Central Asia. The secretary of state’s visit to Kyiv was scheduled for Friday. After Ukraine, Pompeo was to visit Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Cyprus.