President Trump is blaming Iran after supporters of Iraq's Iran-backed militias stormed the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
In a tweet Tuesday morning, Trump accused Iran of "orchestrating" the attack on the U.S. embassy, threatening to hold them "fully responsible."
Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many. We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. They will be held fully responsible. In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2019
Protesters breached the embassy on Tuesday following U.S. airstrikes against Kataib Hezbollah, which came in response to an attack on an Iraqi military base that killed an American contractor, The New York Times reports. Kataib Hezbollah has denied involvement. A spokesperson for the militia said it would erect tents outside of the embassy and "not leave these tents until the embassy and the ambassador leave Iraq."
The Associated Press described this "unprecedented breach" as "one of the worst attacks on the embassy in recent memory," reporting that the embassy's main door was smashed, a reception area was set on fire, and protesters hurled stones over the compound's wall. Per AP, the protesters were joined by some commanders of militia factions that are loyal to Iran, and The Wall Street Journal reports some protesters identified themselves with fatigues and badges as members of Kataib Hezbollah.
Trump on Tuesday also defended the airstrikes while writing the U.S. expects Iraq "to use its forces to protect the embassy." AP notes "Iraqi security forces made no effort to stop the protesters."
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