Bagdhad, Iraq –
The U.S Ambassador and other diplomatic staff fled the Bagdhad embassy as protesters invaded on Tuesday (Dec. 31).
Thousands of protesters and militia fighters stormed the gates of the Bagdhad embassy in response to recent U.S air strikes in Iraq. The United States attacked Iranian bases on Sunday.
The strikes created more chaos for Iraqis in an already anxious time.
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) December 31, 2019
“We have delivered our message, please leave the area to avoid bloodshed,” said one militia leader over a speaker system. In efforts to disperse the crowds, officials began using tear gas which heightened the tensions of the protest. Leaders were looking to keep the protests as peaceful as possible and ‘avoid bloodshed’ at all costs.
“No, no, America! … No, no, Trump!” protesters were chanted at the gates. U.S trained Iraqi Counter-terrorist teams were dispersed among the crowd to help ease the tensions and restore order. Protesters sprayed “Closed in the name of the people” on the gates of the embassy and smashed surveillance cameras with stones.
Militia leader Qais al-Khazali told Reuters, “Americans are unwanted in Iraq. They are a source of evil and we want them to leave.” Al-Khazali is one of the most feared and respected leaders in Iraq.
Sunday’s airstrike killed 25 fighters and wounded 55.