Iraqi protesters and militia fighters angry over recent deadly US airstrikes on an Iran-backed Shiite militia group attacked the heavily fortified US embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday.
Hundreds of men waving Iraqi and militia flags torched a security post and hurled stones at security forces, as embassy guards fired stun grenades and tear gas to disperse crowds that breached the outer wall of America’s largest embassy.
There were no reports of casualties, but the breach was one of the worst attacks on a US embassy in recent memory. The Pentagon said it had deployed extra troops to protect the mission. Meanwhile, the State Department said there were no plans to evacuate the compound.
The militiamen were demonstrating against US airstrikes in Iraq and Syria on Sunday targeting Kataeb Hezbollah, an Iran-backed Iraqi militia. At least 25 militiamen were killed.
Iraqi security forces allowed thousands of protesters to march to the heavily-fortified Green Zone after a funeral held for those killed, letting them pass through a security checkpoint leading to the area.
Many in the crowd shouted “Down, Down USA!” and “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” outside the embassy compound as they threw objects over its walls.
I am old enough to remember the the takeover of the US embassy in Tehran in 1979.
If history does not repeat itself, it certainly rhymes.