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Protesters Outside the US Embassy in Baghdad - Sputnik International

Live Updates: All Iraqi Protesters Leave US Embassy in Baghdad Amid Tensions

BEIRUT (Sputnik) - The US embassy security personnel have deployed tear gas to disperse demonstrators off its territory in Baghdad, Lebanese Al Mayadeen broadcaster reported.

Protesters angered by a deadly US strike on a Shiite militia in Iraq were seen ebbing from the American embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday night, the Alsumaria channel said.

Protesters left after an umbrella organization encompassing many Iraqi paramilitary groups asked demonstrators to heed calls from the national government to withdraw, according to the Alsumaria channel.

Iraqi Interior Minister Yaseen Yasiri reportedly showed up outside the embassy to make sure that no more protesting was going on.

Mass rallies at the territory of the US diplomatic mission resumed earlier in the day. According to media reports, several protesters were injured.

On 31 December, angered Iraqis stormed the US embassy in Baghdad and torched its outer fence in protest against recent US airstrikes that targeted the Kata’ib Hezbollah Shiite militia in Iraq and Syria.

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The Pentagon said on Sunday it carried out "defensive strikes" against five Kata'ib Hezbollah facilities in Iraq and Syria in retaliation for the Iranian-backed group's attack on a US base near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk that left one US defence contractor dead and four US soldiers wounded on Friday.

Iran's Foreign Ministry a day earlier dismissed "empty" accusations coming out of Washington about Iran allegedly orchestrating attacks on the US embassy in Iraq. The ministry also called on Washington to reject its "destructive policies" in the Middle East.

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16:35 GMT 01.01.2020

US citizens have been advised to stay away from the embassy and seek assistance in the US Consulate in Ebril, which remains open for visa services.

15:54 GMT 01.01.2020

"All protesters have withdrawn, tents dismantled, and other forms of demonstrating that accompanied these protests have ended and the Iraqi security forces have completely secured the embassy perimeter", the Iraqi military said in a statement. 

14:31 GMT 01.01.2020

"We condemn the violent attacks on the US Embassy in Baghdad. Safety and inviolability of diplomatic missions and their staff are core elements of the international order… Attacks cannot be justified. We expect the Iraqi government to face their responsibility", a German Foreign Office statement read.

14:08 GMT 01.01.2020
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13:23 GMT 01.01.2020

"Well, I’m hoping I can still fulfil those commitments. I’m headed to Ukraine, and then to Central Asia, and then on to Cyprus. But I’ll make sure I’m in the right place to ensure that our people, the people of the State Department and Americans, are safe and secure in the Middle East. And if that means I have to change or delay my trip for a bit, that’s what I’ll do", US State Secretary Mike Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News TV channel when asked about possible changes to his schedule.

12:27 GMT 01.01.2020
12:27 GMT 01.01.2020
11:24 GMT 01.01.2020

Paramilitary groups who have been holding rallies against US airstrikes in Iraq asked their supporters to retreat from the perimeter of the US Embassy in Baghdad, Reuters reported. 

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