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Iraqi militia call for withdrawal from U.S. embassy

Christian Fernsby |
Paramilitary groups who have been protesting against U.S. air strikes in Iraq told their supporters to withdraw from the perimeter of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad today, although there was no immediate sign of a pullout, reported Reuters.

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Topics: IRAQ    U.S.   

The embassy’s outer perimeter was stormed on Tuesday by demonstrators angry at US air strikes against an Iran-backed group that killed at least 25 fighters. On Wednesday demonstrators hurled rocks at the building while security forces fired tear gas and stun grenades in an attempt to disperse them.

The Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) umbrella group of mainly Shia militia said the crowds should withdraw now that their “message has been heard”, and in deference to the Iraqi government which sought “to preserve the prestige of the state”.

The protests mark a new turn in the shadow war between Washington and Tehran playing out across the Middle East, and raise questions over the continued US military presence in Iraq. U.S. President Donald Trump, who faces re-election in 2020, on Tuesday threatened to retaliate against Iran but said later he did not want to go to war.

The United States launched deadly air strikes against bases of the Iran-backed militia Kataib Hezbollah on Sunday in retaliation for missile attacks that killed a US contractor at a base in northern Iraq.


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