An attempt by supporters of Iran-backed militias to storm the US Embassy in Baghdad went into retreat Wednesday after protest leaders ordered the suspension of the violent challenge to American troop presence in Iraq.
In the end, calls for a second “Benghazi” proved grossly unfounded.
An attempt by supporters of Iran-backed militias to storm the heavily fortified US Embassy in Baghdad went into retreat Wednesday, as American troops reinforced the besieged compound and as protesters withdrew from the area after their leadership ordered the suspension of a violent challenge to American troop presence in Iraq (where US troops have been stationed for nearly two decades).
The retreat was instigated by paramilitary leaders from the Popular Mobilization Forces, which is part of the Iraqi security apparatus and an umbrella body for dozens of militia groups including factions aligned with Iran. The PMF said protesters demanding the expulsion of American troops from Iraq had delivered their message to the US.
According to the WSJ, dozens of protesters who had camped overnight on New Year’s Eve near the gates of the U.S. Embassy began to dismantle their tents following the PMF’s call to withdraw. Earlier, they had appeared to be in for the long haul, setting up portable bathrooms and a podium. The PMF said the protest site would be moved to the other side of the Tigris River, which bisects Baghdad—still within sight of the embassy. Meanwhile, Iraqi security forces took up positions around the embassy
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