ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A large gathering of demonstrators, some appearing to be wearing military uniforms, stormed the Bahraini embassy in Baghdad late Thursday to protest the American so-called "deal of the century" Middle East peace proposal.
The attack comes as Jared Kushner, senior adviser to US President Donald Trump, is in the Bahraini capital of Manama, presenting the plan.
A political source in Baghdad told Kurdistan 24 that the event was organized with the support of notorious Iran-backed militia group Kata'ib Hezbollah, designated a foreign terrorist organization by the US in 2009.
100s of Iraqi protesters stormed #Bahrain 🇧🇭 Embassy in #Baghdad raising #Palestinian 🇵🇸 & Iraqi flags in wake of #USA sponsored workshop & Bahraini foreign minister’s unprecedented interview to #Israel 🇮🇱 television channel calling for open communication with the Jewish state pic.twitter.com/OAqCOa0lOJ— Saad (@SaadAbedine) June 27, 2019
In video footage taken at the site, one protester can be seen holding up a photo of senior Shia cleric Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr, who was one of the founders of the Iraqi Dawa Party now led by former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, also a close ally to Iran.
In photos posted, men in fatigues burned Israeli and American flags while waving the flags of Palestine and Iraqi. One banner raised by the protesters called Arab supporters of the US conference in Bahrain "Zionists" and said it was backed by "Sand Kingdoms," a likely reference to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The White House's proposal seeks to put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through, among other things, financial investments in the impoverished West Bank and Gaza to create jobs and kickstart the local economy.
However, the apparent ambitious project with $50 billion USD pledged has not been received enthusiastically in Middle Eastern countries, with official representatives from many, including Iraq, boycotting the conference.
Palestinians have largely denounced the event and the deal outright, accusing it of showing a pro-Israel bias. Crowds have launched a series of protests in Jordan as well as in self-governing Palestinian areas in Israel.
Iran—currently engaged in a war of words with the US amid spiking tensions—also condemned Washington's initiative while Tehran's regional rivals, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, welcomed it.
Editing by John J. Catherine