Demonstrators shouting “Death to America!” smashed their way into the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad on Tuesday as protests intensified following U.S. airstrikes that killed 25 fighters of an Iran-backed militia in Iraq.
No deaths or serious injuries were immediately reported at the protest, which appeared to include militia members, their supporters and mourners from funerals held for some of those killed by the airstrikes.
The Pentagon said it was rushing about 100 Marines to the embassy as reinforcements. Army Apache AH-64 attack helicopters swooped over the complex, a U.S. military official who was not authorized to speak publicly told USA TODAY.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who has condemned the airstrikes, urged the militiamen and their supporters to leave the embassy area and halt the violence.
“Any aggression or harassment of foreign embassies and representations is an act that will be strictly prohibited by the security forces and will be punished by law with the most severe penalties,” Mahdi warned in a statement.
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