Donald Trump is sending 100 Marines to reinforce the US Embassy in Baghdad after hundreds of thugs stormed inside in an attack he said was organised by Iran.
Gunfire was heard and troops fired tear gas after the Shia militiamen – some in combat fatigues – smashed down the gates and set fire to a guard post.
US soldiers could be seen taking up defensive positions on the roof and inside the main building embassy as a huge plume of smoke rose over the fortified Green Zone.
Iraqi officials confirmed the ambassador and diplomatic staff were safely evacuated.
US defence secretary Mark Esper said tonight he would send reinforcements to guard the embassy.
It was reported 100 Marines would be redeployed from elsewhere in the region to bolster defences and two Apaches choppers will fly over in a “show of force”.
President Trump accused Tehran of being behind the attack, which came after funerals for Iran-backed paramilitary fighters killed in air strikes on Sunday.
He tweeted: “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. In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!”
US Senator Marco Rubio also tweeted that Iran was responsible.
Today’s violence sparked painful memories of the murder of the US ambassador to Libya in the Benghazi embassy siege by Islamist terrorists in 2012.
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Source: The Sun