Dozens of angry Iraqi Shiite militia supporters broke into the US Embassy compound in Baghdad on Tuesday after smashing a main door and setting fire to a reception area, prompting tear gas and sounds of gunfire. An AP reporter at the scene saw flames rising from inside the compound and at least three US soldiers on the roof of the main building. A man on a loudspeaker urged the mob not to enter the compound, saying: "The message was delivered." President Trump had a message of his own, tweeting Tuesday that "Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many. We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the US Embassy in Iraq. They will be held fully responsible."
He continued, "In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!" Earlier, hundreds of protesters smashed security cameras on the wall around the compound and rattled the main gate. Shouting "Down, Down USA," the crowd raised yellow militia flags and sprayed graffiti on the walls and windows in support of the Kataeb Hezbollah militia. The embassy attack followed US airstrikes this week that killed 25 fighters of the Iran-backed militia in Iraq and took place after mourners and supporters held funerals for the militia fighters. They marched on to the heavily fortified Green Zone and kept walking till they reached the sprawling embassy compound. (The militia's chief has vowed to avenge the US strikes.)