Supporters of Iranian-Backed Militia End Siege of U.S. Embassy in Baghdad
The Iran-backed militiamen who hours earlier set fire to a roof at the U.S. embassy compound in Baghdad on Wednesday pulled back, apparently ending the crisis that had trapped diplomats inside. The supporters of the Kataib Hezbollah militia marched out of the area after dismantling their tents. U.S. troops had responded to the fire by shooting tear gas at the crowd of demonstrators on the second day of the siege, while militiamen massed outside the embassy gates to protest U.S. airstrikes that killed 25 fighters in retaliation for a rocket attack that killed an American contractor. Demonstrators reportedly said they would continue to fight for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in the nation’s parliament instead of through the siege. Earlier on Wednesday, the confrontation prompted President Donald Trump to order 750 troops to the Middle East—with another 3,000 available to be deployed later in the week. Trump has blamed Iran for the attacks, but Iran denies involvement.