US President Trump issued a threat to Iran, after blaming it for an attack on the US embassy in neighbouring Iraq.
CNN reports that Protesters attacked the US Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday, scaling the walls and forcing the gates of the compound, as hundreds demonstrated against American airstrikes on an Iran-backed militia group in Iraq.
BBC reports that President Trump tweeted on New Year’s Eve that Iran “will pay a very big price” for any damage or loss of life. “This is not a warning, it is a threat,” he said.
The U.S. Embassy in Iraq is, & has been for hours, SAFE! Many of our great Warfighters, together with the most lethal military equipment in the world, was immediately rushed to the site. Thank you to the President & Prime Minister of Iraq for their rapid response upon request….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2019
As night fell, protestors set up tents near the embassy, suggesting another day of upheaval lies ahead. Iraqi counterterrorism forces were deployed around the perimeter of the embassy, while the Pentagon announced additional Marines would be sent to Baghdad and more troops would be deployed to the Middle East in response to the embassy crisis.
US defence secretary Mark Esper later announced that about 750 soldiers would immediately be deployed to the region. “The United States will protect our people and interests anywhere they are found around the world,” he wrote in a tweet.
Via BBC / CNN