Thousands of protesters aligned with an Iraqi paramilitary group stormed the compound of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday, surrounding some of its buildings and setting fire to one of its gates.
The attack began on Dec. 31, 2019, after the group marched into the sprawling Green Zone in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, a heavily guarded area housing Iraqi government facilities and various foreign embassies that only became open to the general public last year. Initial reports described the incident as a protest against the U.S. airstrikes on Kata’ib Hezbollah.
In response to the attack, the U.S. Army sends the Reinforcements to the Embassy.
The first video in this post features U.S. Army AH-64 Apache helicopters from 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 34th Combat Aviation Brigade, conduct overflights of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. The helicopter launched flares as a show of presence while providing additional security and deterrence against protests.
U.S. Army AH-64 Apache gunships conducted a show of force and patrolled the skies around the American Embassy in Iraq.
The second footage is a Forward-Looking Infrared video (FLIR) showing U.S. Marines landing in MV-22B Osprey aircraft at the U.S. Embassy. Approximately 100 Marines with the Special Purpose Marine Air-Grond Task Forces Crisis Response — Central Command were deployed to protect the U. S. Embassy in Baghdad, protesters stormed the embassy gates trying to get inside the perimeter.
Moreover, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced on Tuesday that the Pentagon is dispatching about 750 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division to the Middle East in response to the attack on the U.S. embassy.
At the direction of the Commander in Chief @POTUS, I have authorized the deployment of an infantry battalion from the Immediate Response Force (IRF) of the @82ndABNDiv to the @CENTCOM area of operations in response to recent events in Iraq.
— Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper (@EsperDoD) January 1, 2020
“This deployment is an appropriate and precautionary action taken in response to increased threat levels against U.S. personnel and facilities, such as we witnessed in Baghdad today,” Esper said in a statement, “ The United States will protect our people and interests anywhere they are found around the world.”
According to Funker530.com, the hundreds of men attempting to storm the embassy compound are militants of the Iranian-led Popular Mobilization Forces (PMU). They are of the same groups that launched the 30- rocket attack on the K1 military base in Kirkuk, which resulted in the death of a US citizen and wounded f US troops.
The U.S. responded to that rocket attack by precision striking five Iranian proxy militia operation sites in Iraq and Syria. The PMU affiliates attacked the embassy in response to those airstrikes.