Thousands of Iraqi Shiite militia supporters attacked US Embassy compound in Baghdad while protesting against airstrikes that killed 25 pro-Iran fighters. According to media reports, some of the protesters marched through the high-security checkpoints in military fatigues to which Iraqi forces didn’t react.
The mob broke into the Embassy compound shouting “Death to America” and one of them hanged a poster on the wall that read, “America is an aggressor”. US security forces stood at the roof pointing guns at the protestors while some marines fired tear gas and flash bangs to disperse the aggressive crowd. Protesters have also been demanding an end to the widespread corruption with a change in regime. But the protests continued in the embattled region even after the resignation of Adel Abdel Mahdi as the Prime Minister of Iraq.
Earlier, a US defence contractor was killed and others got injured after as many as 30 rockets were reportedly fired at the Iraqi military compound near Kirkuk. In response, the United States launched airstrikes against the pro-Iran group killing 25 fighters. Iran's foreign ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi said that the US carried out attacks to show its “firm support for terrorism and its neglect for the independence and sovereignty of countries”.
The attack had triggered anger across the country, especially among pro-Iran voices, which forced Adel Abdel-Mahdi, currently a caretaker Prime Minister, to convey that he tried to stop the airstrikes on targets within Iraq. Iraqi PM said that there was “insistence” from the US officials to carry out the attack. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the strikes were carried out to send a strong message and “precision defensive strikes” were conducted at five sites of Hezbollah Brigades.
On December 9, four Katyusha rockets struck an Iraqi military base, which hosts US forces, near Baghdad International Airport injuring six Iraqi fighters. A larger attack was reportedly planned as the forces found several launchers with rockets that were not fired properly. The incident occurred just a few days after a US military base in the Anbar province of Iraq was hit by multiple rockets fired from an unknown location.
Read: US Strikes On Pro-Iran Group In Iraq Kill 25, Sparking Anger