Protesters withdraw from U.S. embassy in Baghdad
BAGHDAD, IRAQ - Protesters who've been demonstrating outside the U.S. embassy in Iraq have started to withdraw.
On Tuesday, a tense standoff began as a crowd of demonstrators, protesting the deaths of militia members in U.S. airstrikes, began shouting and hurling stones at the embassy.
BBC World News reports that U.S. forces responded by firing tear gas.
By Wednesday morning, most of the protesters left the compound to set up camp near an area hotel.
An umbrella group of state-allied militias called, 'The Popular Mobilization Forces,' instructed protesters to withdraw from the embassy in response to an appeal from the Iraqi government, saying, "your message has been received."
President Trump tweeted that he believes Iran is ultimately responsible for the attack on the embassy. But Iran has denied involvement.
....Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities. They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat. Happy New Year!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2019
The embassy is one of the largest U.S. diplomatic missions in the world and one of the most heavily guarded.
According to the BBC, at the moment, there are about 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq involved in anti-Islamic State operations and training missions with Iraqi security forces.
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