The American embassy in Baghdad has been stormed by protesters who pushed through the gates. No reports of injuries have been forthcoming, but members of Iran-backed militia groups have destroyed cameras, set fires and spray-painting slogans on the walls.
The embassy has not been completely compromised and many Americans remain inside, although there are conflicting reports that the ambassador has been evacuated.
The President has not yet commented on the events, but has spoken on other matters via Twitter while the embassy attack has been progressing.
The attack on the Iraqi compound was organized in retaliation to a series of airstrikes in northern Iraq yesterday which killed 25 members of Kataeb Hezbollah, a Iran-backed militia that had launched rocket attacks on an American position on Friday. The rockets had killed one American contractor and wounded six members of the joint American-Iraqi military operating forces (four Americans and two Iraqis.)
The Iraqi government issued a statement following the U.S. airstrikes, calling them a “dangerous violation of the rules of engagement that govern the work of the U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq” and that it ran counter to the “goals and principles” of that coalition. It was viewed as a violation of their national sovereignty by acting against Iraqi requests and initiating an immediate attack on Iraqi soil.
In a partly televised meeting Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi told Cabinet members that he had tried to stop the U.S. operation “but there was insistence” from American officials.CBS News
Iraqi officials have said they are to “review their relationship” with the United States following the airstrikes.
As previously reported, there have been heightened tensions in Iraq for months as the citizenry have become increasingly angry at their government for providing inadequate basic services, being seen instead as focusing on the political warring between the United States and Iraq. The airstrikes, and now the storming of the compound, risk creating a permanent rift which could lead to the U.S. troops being asked to leave, which would in turn undermine any American ability to act against the attempted resurgence of ISIS forces throughout the region.