Videos of American soldiers trapped inside the US Consulate in Baghdad are doing the rounds online. The videos show dozens of armed militiamen throwing Molotov and destroying the security cameras of the US consulate.
US ambassador to Iraq Matthew H. Tueller and other staff have been evacuated from the embassy after protesters tried to storm the embassy, Iraqi Foreign Ministry officials told Reuters.
The protesters largely comprised of Iraqi Shiite militia supporters who reportedly stormed the US Embassy compound in Baghdad after smashing a door and storming inside. In retaliation, the US embassy security forces fired tear gas, there were also reports of gunfire. Reuters correspondents said they heard four loud bangs.
The angry supporters of the Iranian-backed militia were heard shouting "Death to America" "Satan America" before laying siege to the embassy. The scary visual shared online has raised concern for the safety of the US Marine. The video clip showed, US soldiers guarding the American Embassy in Baghdad "separated by a pane of glass."
Even as the protests continue, the Iraqi caretaker prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has ordered the crowd to"immediately" vacate US embassy premises. "We recall that any aggression or harassment of foreign embassies will be firmly prohibited by the security forces," Abdel Mahdi's office said, according to Al Jazeera. The Iraqi PM's office issued the statement several hours after the attack began.
On Sunday, US forces carried out airstrikes against the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah, as a retaliation for last week's killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that it blamed on the group.
Though Kataib Hezbollah is designated as a terrorist group by US, the Iraqis consider them as part of the security forces. The angry mourners after holding funerals for the killed marched on to the heavily fortified Green Zone on Tuesday and interestingly were allowed to reach the sprawling US Embassy.
The fortified Green Zone, many observers noted, is mostly off-limits for locals and is guarded by the Iraqi forces. There is still no information on any casualties or on condition of the American forces trapped inside the US embassy in Baghdad.