Angry Iraq protesters attack the US Embassy over previous airstrikes – breaking it down.
Axios – The United States has stepped up its response to unrest in Iraq after the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad was attacked by deploying 750 troops to the region (4,000 preparing to go), at the direction of President Trump, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Tuesday.
See the following United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper’s comments:
“[The] soldiers will deploy to the region immediately & additional forces from the [Immediate Response Force] are prepared to deploy over the next several days. This deployment is an appropriate and precautionary action taken in response to increased threat levels against U.S. personnel and facilities, such as we witnessed in Baghdad today. The United States will protect our people and interests anywhere they are found around the world.”
— Esper’s announcement via Twitter
NBC News – Dozens of people stormed the compound of the U.S. Embassy in Iraq on Tuesday in response to U.S. airstrikes that killed dozens of fighters from an Iran-backed militia group. See an NBC News Report below:
Guards inside the embassy in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone used tear gas to prevent demonstrators from moving toward the main buildings inside the compound, an Iraqi security source told NBC News on condition of anonymity.
At least 25 militia fighters were killed in the airstrikes. A large crowd of supporters gathered Tuesday after funerals for some of the dead and marched on the embassy, chanting “Down, Down USA!” while hurling water bottles and smashing security cameras, according to The Associated Press. Live bullets and tear gas injured at least 62 demonstrators, according to the Popular Mobilization Forces, an umbrella group for the militias recognized by the Iraqi government. NBC News couldn’t independently verify the claim.
There were about 6,000 protesters at the height of the demonstrations, a U.S. official said, made up mostly of Kataib Hezbollah members. The embassy was on lockdown by evening, but U.S. personnel weren’t being evacuated, according to a U.S. official with knowledge of the situation. The official said discussions were underway about the next steps should an evacuation be necessary.
The United States has about 5,000 personnel in Iraq to train and assist government troops in the fight against ISIS. But the Iraqi government is also allied with a powerful network of militia groups, many of which are backed by or linked to Tehran. Tehran called the U.S. airstrikes “terrorism,” and Iraq called them a “violation” of its sovereignty. The militia has vowed to respond.
Here is Trump’s comment on the situation (not a warning, a threat, “not another Bengazi” – also that in Iraq embassy is safe now):
….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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2019
The Ambassador in Iraq, Matthew H. Tueller was not in resident at the time. As far as we know, no US or Iraqis were killed in this incident. The embassy is now safe. On June 20, 2019, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps‘s (IRGC) shot down a United States RQ-4A Global Hawk BAMS-D surveillance drone with a surface-to-air missile over the Strait of Hormuz. Trump did not respond then, perhaps won’t respond here either – appropriate response. Instead launched cyberattacks and sanctions.
The Conservative Treehouse (see the video on the link from Fox) – Col Douglas Macgregor outlines his own suspicions about the U.S. military attack in Iraq and Syria. Macgregor states his belief that President Trump is being “skillfully misinformed.” The suggestion is that the events were known in advance and the Deepstate was at work to create an incident to bait Trump into a war with an Iranian war. Of course, this bait if taken, would be useful to the Democratic coup of Impeachment. The RFSO’s take is that no Iran war is imminent, though a strategic strike may be in the cards (by the US or an ally).
But we shall see, as at some point Trump will need to put more bite behind the bark.