Iran organizes protestors to storm the US embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, on Tuesday; The United States now intends to send up to approximately 4,000 troops to the region; Trump: Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities.
On Tuesday, dozens of protestors raided the US embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, in response to the crippling US airstrikes over the weekend that left 27 Iranian-backed soldiers dead, including 4 Hezbollah commanders. The violent protest was organized by Iran, which led to a smashed-in front gate, at least one fire inside the embassy as well as the outer wall, and a handful of other damage.
Reports indicate that protestors could be heard chanting, “Down, Down USA!”, and, “Death to America!”, prior to breaking through the gate. The Iraqi government stepped in decisively to rid the premises of protestors. One distinct giveaway that Iran organized the protest is that multiple protestors were wielding the flags representing Hashd al-Shaabi, a military group belonging to the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), which is funded and run by Iran.
In response to the protest, the United States will be sending 750 soldiers to the Middle East, effective immediately. These soldiers are specifically in response to the Iranian-orchestrated raid on the US embassy. In addition, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper tweeted that President Trump has ordered him to deploy the 82nd Airborne Quick-Deployment Brigade if necessary, which would add over 3,000 more.
President Donald Trump did not hold back in his response to the protest when he tweeted,
“The U.S. Embassy in Iraq is, & has been for hours, SAFE! Many of our great Warfighters, together with the most lethal military equipment in the world, was immediately rushed to the site. Thank you to the President & Prime Minister of Iraq for their rapid response upon request. Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities. They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a warning; it is a threat. Happy New Year!”
As of early Wednesday, the pro-Iranian protests outside the US embassy in Baghdad resumed, leading to tear gas and rubber bullets being fired into the crowds.