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US Ambassador and Staff Evacuated from Baghdad Embassy Amid Protests
Protesters and Kata'ib Hizbullah members gather outside the US Embassy in Baghdad on December 31, 2019. (Haydar Karaalp/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

US Ambassador and Staff Evacuated from Baghdad Embassy Amid Protests

US Ambassador Matthew H. Tueller and his staff were evacuated from the US Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday as thousands of demonstrators and armed militia fighters gathered outside to protest US airstrikes in Iraq. The crowd threw stones at the embassy gate and shouted “No, no, America! … No, no, Trump!” A few embassy security staff remained, according to reports by Iraq’s Foreign Ministry. This follows US attacks on Sunday against bases of the Iranian-backed Kata’ib Hizbullah militia, which killed at least 25 militia fighters and wounded 55. The US airstrikes were a response to the killing of a US civilian contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base. Iraqis themselves have been protesting in the streets for months against the influence of Iranian-backed groups such as Kata’ib Hizbullah on the country’s ruling elite.

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