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US envoy reportedly evacuated as Baghdad protesters attempt to storm embassy amid fury over air strikes

Protesters condemn air strikes on bases belonging to Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitary forces, outside of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq December 31, 2019. © REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani
RT | December 31, 2019

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.

The US ambassador to Iraq, Matthew H. Tueller, was evacuated due to the unrest, Reuters reported, citing two Iraqi Foreign Ministry officials.

One video shows parts of the US compound being set on fire.

Earlier, protesters were filmed burning US and Israeli flags.

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.

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.

December 31, 2019 - Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | ,

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