US envoy reportedly evacuated as Baghdad protesters attempt to storm embassy amid fury over air strikes (PHOTOS/VIDEOS)
Thousands of protesters, angry over recent airstrikes targeting Hezbollah, have marched on the US embassy in Baghdad, reportedly forcing the US envoy to flee the diplomatic compound.
Protesters were seen waving Hezbollah flags and chanting anti-US slogans in the Iraqi capital on Tuesday. According to reports, demonstrators were able to gain access to parts of the heavily fortified Green Zone, and attempted to break into the US Embassy. Security guards were said to have retreated into the US government building. A correspondent for the BBC noted that it appeared that the protesters were able to pass several checkpoints without being resisted by security personnel.
A man waiving #Iran-Backed Kataeb Hezbollah's flag outside the #US Embassy in #Baghdad. To reach that area in Green Zone you need to pass several tough checkpoints even after that the Green zone partially opened but it seems that no one have resisted these protesters pic.twitter.com/Sl4DjENrMi— Nafiseh Kohnavard (@nafisehkBBC) December 31, 2019
Protesters set up tents outside the U.S. embassy in #Baghdad, chanting anti-US slogans, holding banners, ‘Death to America, death to Israel.’ pic.twitter.com/s8GdEImSj1— Rudaw English (@RudawEnglish) December 31, 2019
Several thousand protesters demonstrate in front of the US embassy in Baghdad over US air strikes that killed more than two dozen paramilitary fighters at the weekend. pic.twitter.com/cUqCpGVkve— AFP news agency (@AFP) December 31, 2019
Though initial reports sugested US ambassador to Iraq, Matthew H. Tueller, was evacuated due to the unrest, the Stae Department later added that the embassy remained secure, and nobody had been evacuated.
One video shows parts of the US compound being set on fire.
Parts of the US Embassy in Baghdad are set fire by the protestors pic.twitter.com/fUUksZY8CQ— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) December 31, 2019
Earlier, protesters were filmed burning US and Israeli flags.
WATCH: Hundreds in Baghdad protest against U.S. airstrikes on Iraqi Hezbollah bases in Iraq pic.twitter.com/CL3MOzX0b3— Shakthi Vadakkepat (@v_shakthi) December 30, 2019
The unrest comes after US fighter jets struck three Kataib Hezbollah targets in Qaim, Iraq, and two in Syria. The Iran-allied Shiite militia group said that at least 25 of their fighters were killed and nearly three dozen injured in the strikes. The Pentagon accused the group of carrying out attacks on Iraqi bases that host US-led coalition forces stationed in the country.Also on rt.com Protesters ‘break into’ US embassy compound in Baghdad, as crowds rally against American airstrikes in Iraq (PHOTO, VIDEO)
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi strongly condemned the airstrikes, warning that the attacks would have “grave consequences.” Tehran also condemned the strikes and denied any involvement in attacks on US forces in Iraq.
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