Pro-Iran demonstrators left the besieged US embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
Pro-Iran demonstrators left the besieged US embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday after the Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force ordered them to withdraw a day after their dramatic incursion. Thousands of Iraqi supporters of the largely Iranian-trained Hashed had encircled and vandalised the embassy compound Tuesday, outraged by US air strikes that killed 25 Hashed fighters over the weekend.
They marched unimpeded through the checkpoints of the usually high-security Green Zone to the embassy gates, where they broke through a reception area, chanting “Death to America” and spraying pro-Iran graffiti on the walls.
Iraq’s caretaker premier Adel Abdel Mahdi called on the angry crowd to leave the embassy but most spent the night in dozens of Xtents set up outside the perimeter wall.
Tuesday's 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.
Earlier, US President Donald Trump has said that war with Iran is not a good idea.
"We had some great warriors come in... this will not be a Benghazi... they got in there very quickly," he said in response to a question as he walked up to the grand ballroom at Mar-a-Lago for the New Year's eve party.
Asked about the possibility of a war with Iran, the US President said: "I don't think that would be a good idea for Iran... I like peace... I don't see that happening". Earlier, Trump threatened Iran after the attack on the American embassy which was one of the worst in recent years.
"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!" he warned in a tweet.
"The US embassy in Iraq is, & has been for hours, SAFE! Many of our great Warfighters, together with the most lethal military equipment in the world, was immediately rushed to the site. Thank you to the President & Prime Minister of Iraq for their rapid response upon request...," trump said in another tweet.
Soon thereafter, the Pentagon announced deployment of additional troops in Iraq as part of its effort to secure its personnel in Baghdad.