U.S. Troops Fire Tear Gas at Protesters Outside Iraq Embassy

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. troops fired tear gas to disperse protesters gathered outside the American complex in Iraq, local TV reported, a day after Iran-backed militiamen stormed the compound.

Protesters had camped out overnight near the Baghdad embassy after Kataieb Hezbollah militiamen and their supporters attacked the compound Tuesday to protest deadly American airstrikes on the group’s bases. More protesters had arrived Wednesday, and some had lit a fire, leading troops to fire tear gas.

U.S. President Donald Trump blamed Iran for the embassy attack, and Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced that additional forces would be sent to protect the embassy personnel. Iran has denied involvement in the attack.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, denounced the airstrikes in Iraq and Syria on Sunday, and warned Trump that the Islamic Republic is poised to hit back against any direct retaliation from Washington.

Anyone who threatens Iran will be confronted “unhesitatingly,” Khamenei tweeted, in a rare Twitter spat with the U.S. leader.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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