Thousands of protesters attacked the US Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday, burning flags, tearing down surveillance cameras and shouting “Death to America” after deadly American raids on an Iraqi pro-Iranian armed group.
Participants in the funeral procession of 25 combatants killed in the air raids on Sunday in Iraq, managed to pass through all the checkpoints of the ultra-secure Green Zone of Baghdad, where the embassy is located, without incident. But the Iraqi security forces then intervened at the doors of the embassy, while the demonstrators became violent.
The demonstrators are men in uniform of fighters of Hachd al-Chaabi, a coalition of paramilitaries dominated by Shiite pro-Iranian factions to which belong the Hezbollah brigades, the faction targeted by the raids, but also women waving Iraqi flags.
Carrying banners proclaiming “Parliament must free the American troops, otherwise we are going to free them”, “Close the American embassy in Baghdad”, they shouted, “America is the great Satan”.
Anti-American sentiment has been rekindled by raids in retaliation for the death of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi base, unclaimed but attributed by Washington to the Shiite faction of Hezbollah brigades.
Hachd al-Chaabi, who helped the Iraqi government in the anti-Jihadist struggle, was integrated into the regular forces.