The pro-Iran demonstrators who took the Baghdad US Embassy under siege yesterday have now fully retreated, according to new reports.
The protestors had descended upon the Embassy in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes against the Iran-backed militia, Kataeb Hezbollah.
Thanks to President Trump’s excellent command over the attack, the situation is now diffused and all protestors have withdrawn.
Take a look at the breaking news on Twitter:
President Trump had previously promised "This will not be a Benghazi," and it looks like he kept his promise!
Watch Trump's statement on the handling of the situation at the US Embassy as he arrived at a New Year's party last night:
NBC News has more details:
Iraqi protesters withdrew from the perimeter of the American Embassy compound in Baghdad on what was the second day of demonstrations against deadly U.S. airstrikes on Sunday, U.S. officials said.
"All protesters withdrew from the area in front of the US embassy and left the Green Zone. The embassy is now completely surrounded and secured by security forces," the Joint Operation Command said Wednesday.
Earlier Wednesday, U.S. security forces had fired tear gas into the crowd.
"The situation around Embassy Baghdad has improved," a State Department spokesperson said Wednesday. "We appreciate the effective measures the Government of Iraq has taken to improve the situation and to prevent further attacks against our diplomatic mission."
The pro-Iranian protesters had camped outside the gates of the embassy overnight, after thousands stormed the compound, with some making it as far as the main reception area before failing to gain accessto the main building on Tuesday. The Joint Operation Command center said protesters had burned and broke doors to the reception room.
The diplomatic building sits on a vast 100-acre site along the Tigris river, making it the biggest U.S. embassy.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced Tuesdaythat the U.S. was sending about 750 soldiers to the Middle East in the wake of the embassy’s storming. More personnel were on standby to deploy if needed, he said.
On Wednesday, around 250 to 300 protesters gathered outside the compound walls where Iraqi security forces had also assembled to protect the integrity of the embassy, a senior Iraqi security official told NBC News on the condition of anonymity.
Video circulated on social media that appeared to show protesters scaling a compound building and agencies published video of what appeared to be demonstrators throwing stones at embassy buildings. It was unclear if those protesting were militiamen, their supporters or both.
The protesters were demonstrating deadly U.S. airstrikes Sunday on weapons depots in Iraq and Syria that the United States said were linked to an Iran-backed Shiite militia group, Kataeb Hezbollah. At least 25 fighters were killed in the strikes.
The United States blames the militia for attacks on the bases of the U.S.-led coalition that is fighting the Islamic State in recent months.
Reuters via Yahoo News also said:
Pro-Iran demonstrators left the besieged US embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday after the Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force ordered them to withdraw a day after their dramatic incursion.
Thousands of Iraqi supporters of the largely Iranian-trained Hashed had encircled and vandalised the embassy compound Tuesday, outraged by US air strikes that killed 25 Hashed fighters over the weekend.
They marched unimpeded through the checkpoints of the usually high-security Green Zone to the embassy gates, where they broke through a reception area, chanting "Death to America" and spraying pro-Iran graffiti on the walls.
Iraq's caretaker premier Adel Abdel Mahdi called on the angry crowd to leave the embassy, but most spent the night in dozens of tents set up outside the perimeter wall.
On Wednesday morning, crowds of men brandished the Hashed's colours, torched US flags and hurled rocks towards the compound.
Security personnel inside responded with tear gas, wounding at least 20 people, the Hashed said.
By the afternoon, the Hashed called on its supporters to leave the embassy and regroup outside the Green Zone "out of respect for the state."
"You delivered your message," it said in a statement.
AFP's photographer saw protesters dismantling their tents and leaving the Green Zone.
"We burned them!" they said, streaming back out of checkpoints they had breezed through on Tuesday.
Kataeb Hezbollah, the group targeted in the US raids, initially told AFP it would stay at the embassy, but later said it had decided to abide by the Hashed's order.
"We scored a huge win: we arrived to the US embassy, which no one had done before," spokesman Mohammad Mohyeddin told AFP.
"Now, the ball is in parliament's court," he added, referring to lawmakers' efforts to revoke the legal cover for 5,200 US troops to deploy in Iraq.