ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – US troops on Wednesday fired tear gas to disperse supporters of the Iranian-backed Iraqi militia, Kata’ib Hizbollah, who had gathered at the US embassy in Baghdad for the second day.
The incident occurred after hundreds of militiamen chucked stones at the American compound in violent demonstrations, Reuters reported. US Marines at the embassy responded by firing tear gas and stun grenades to scatter the crowd.
Protesters in Iraq stormed the US embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday and attempted to break into the building in retaliation for a US strike against Iran-backed militias in Iraq.
Footage from the scene showed thousands gathered around the US Embassy, waving Iraqi and Hashd al-Shaabi flags and chanting “Death to America!” slogans in opposition to America’s presence in the country.
The incident comes after the US launched five strikes on Sunday against facilities belonging to the Iraqi militia, Kata’ib Hizbollah, as it charged that the Iranian-backed militia was behind a lethal attack on K-1, an Iraqi military base outside Kirkuk.
In response to the embassy attack, the Pentagon distributed a statement from Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, announcing that forces from the 82nd Airborne were headed for the Middle East.
The developments occur amid ongoing anti-government protests in central and southern parts of Iraq that have left over 500 people dead and scores more injured, leading to the resignation of Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi.