Iran-backed Iraqi militia, mob breach US Embassy compound in Baghdad

Baghdad Dozens of Iraqi Shiite militiamen and their supporters broke into the US Embassy compound in Baghdad on Tuesday, smashing a main door and setting fire to a reception area, angered over deadly US airstrikes targeting the Iran-backed militia.

lames were seen rising from inside the compound and at least three US soldiers were spotted on the roof of the main embassy building. There was a fire at the reception area near the parking lot of the compound but it was unclear what had caused it. A man on a loudspeaker urged the mob not to enter the compound, saying: “The message was delivered.”

There were no reports of casualties, but the unprecedented breach was one of the worst attacks on the embassy in recent memory. It followed deadly US airstrikes on Sunday that killed 25 fighters of the Iran-backed militia in Iraq, the Kataeb Hezbollah. The US military said the airstrikes were in retaliation for last week’s killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that it had blamed on the militia.

US President Donald Trump tweeted early on Tuesday that Iran was “orchestrating” the embassy attack  and would be held responsible for it.

Read the article in The Sydney Morning Herald (AP with Reuters).