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Iraq: Pro-Iran protesters leave US embassy in Baghdad

Iraq: Pro-Iran protesters leave US embassy in Baghdad 1
Baghdad: Protesters burn representations of a U.S. flag during a protest against the U.S. strikes on the Hezbollah Brigades militia, in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Dec. 30, 2019. The Iranian-backed militia said Monday that the death toll from U.S. military strikes in Iraq and Syria against its fighters has risen to 25, vowing to exact revenge for the “aggression of evil American ravens.” AP/PTI(AP12_31_2019_000025B)

In Iraq, pro-Iran demonstrators left the besieged US embassy in Baghdad yesterday after the Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force ordered them to withdraw a day after their dramatic incursion.

Outraged by US air strikes that killed 25 Hashed fighters over the weekend, thousands of Iraqi supporters of the largely Iranian-trained Hashed had encircled and vandalised the embassy compound on Tuesday.

They marched unimpeded through the checkpoints of the usually high-security Green Zone to the embassy gates, where they broke through a reception area. Iraq’s caretaker premier Adel Abdel Mahdi called on the angry crowd to leave the embassy, but most spent the night in dozens of tents set up outside the perimeter wall.

The embassy attack was the latest episode in spiralling tensions between the United States and Iran since Washington abandoned a landmark nuclear deal with Tehran in 2018.

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