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Marines Deploying After Iranian Attack on US Embassy in Iraq

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced on Tuesday that the United States is sending additional forces to protect the U.S. embassy in Baghdad after protesters broke through the facility’s main entrance gate.

The Washington Post reported that hundreds of angry supporters of the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia shouting “Death to America” broke into the embassy compound. The protests came following U.S. airstrikes over the weekend that killed or wounded multiple militia fighters.

The airstrikes targeted five Kataib Hezbollah-controlled facilities in Iraq and Syria, according to Fox News.

U.S. officials said the militia was responsible for rocket attacks on Friday near Kirkuk in northern Iraq that killed a U.S. defense contractor and wounded four U.S. troops and two members of the Iraqi Security Forces.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday the airstrikes were in retaliation for the rocket strikes.

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“Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many,” Trump wrote. “We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. They will be held fully responsible. In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!”

Esper tweeted that the U.S. is sending additional troops to Baghdad.

“We have taken appropriate force protection actions to ensure the safety of American citizens, military personnel and diplomats in country, and to ensure our right of self-defense,” he wrote. “We are sending additional forces to support our personnel at the Embassy.”

“As in all countries, we rely on host nation forces to assist in the protection of our personnel in country, & we call on the Gov’t of Iraq to fulfill its international responsibilities to do so,” he added. “The US continues to support the Iraqi people & a free, sovereign, & prosperous Iraq.”

Do you think the Trump administration has responded appropriately to the embassy attack?

Citing a U.S. defense official, Fox News reported that roughly 100 Marines were being sent to the Baghdad embassy to bolster security. Business Insider and Military.com confirmed Fox’s reporting, citing anonymous U.S. officials.

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A U.S. Apache attack helicopter flew over the embassy, dropping flares, as a “show of force” during the protests, the defense official told Fox.

The Washington Post reported, “American guards inside the embassy fired tear gas to keep the militia supporters at bay. U.S. troops could be seen nearby and on rooftops, their weapons drawn, but they did not open fire.”

U.S. diplomats took refuge in a safe room inside the compound during the attack.

Iraqi forces eventually put up a steel barrier at the smashed embassy compound gate and dispersed many of the protesters.

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said he fully supports the Trump administration’s response, tweeting there will be “no Benghazis on [Trump’s] watch.”

“Very proud of President @realDonaldTrump acting decisively in the face of threats to our embassy in Baghdad,” Graham wrote. “He has put the world on notice – there will be no Benghazis on his watch.”

He added that Tehran should take notice, suggesting future U.S. air strikes could target Iran’s oil-refining facilities.

“President Trump, unlike President Obama, will hold you accountable for threats against Americans and hit you where it hurts the most,” Graham tweeted. “Choose your battles wisely.”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 1,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Birthplace
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Graduated dean's list from West Point
Education
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith




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