In Iraq, thousands of people are protesting outside the United States Embassy in Baghdad, after a slew of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria killed at least 24 members of an Iranian-backed militia Sunday. Militia members marched on Baghdad’s heavily guarded Green Zone and demanded the United States withdraw all troops from Iraq. The embassy has been evacuated. In a tweet this morning, President Trump blamed Iran for “orchestrating” the protests outside the U.S. Embassy. Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said he warned the United States not to carry out the airstrikes Sunday but that his warning was ignored.
Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi: “The U.S. defense minister told me that the U.S. would carry out attacks on bases of Kata’ib Hezbollah, and this would take place after a few hours. I told him this is a dangerous matter and would escalate tension, and we should discuss such affairs.”
The U.S. airstrikes came after an American contractor was killed in a rocket attack in Kirkuk, Iraq, Friday. The United States has around 5,000 troops stationed in Iraq, as well as an undisclosed number of civilian contractors.