President Trump has spoken out about the attack in Iraq on the US Embassy and says he’s holding Iran “fully responsible” for the siege.
After overseeing the situation in Iraq and ensuring that the embassy was safe following the attack, President Trump posted this on Twitter, assuring that Iran is going to pay a “BIG PRICE” for what happened earlier today:
He also called the response to the attack on the US Embassy the "Anti-Benghazi!"
CNBC has more to say on Trump's promise that Iran will be held accountable for the siege:
President Donald Trump on Tuesday blamed Iran for planning an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq and promised to hold Tehran “fully responsible.”
“Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many. We strongly responded, and always will,” the president wrote on Twitter. “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!” he added.
Later Tuesday, Trump amplified his harsh words for Iran. “This is not a Warning, it is a Threat,” the president tweeted. “Happy New Year!”
Iran denied it was behind the violent protests and warned against any retaliation. “American officials have the astounding audacity of attributing to Iran the protests of the Iraqi people against (Washington’s) savage killing of at least 25 Iraqis ...,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a statement carried on a ministry website.
Trump’s tweets came after dozens of angry Iraqi Shiite militia supporters stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad and set fire to a reception area on the grounds earlier in the day.
The Iraqi supporters, many dressed in military apparel, pushed into the compound using cars to break through its gate. The protesters hung a poster on the wall saying, “America is an aggressor.”
Though the mob stopped short of entering the main building of the compound, many shouted “Down, Down, USA!” and flung water and rocks over the embassy walls. About 30 Iraqi soldiers in armored vehicles arrived near the embassy hours after the violence, according to an Associated Press report.
The attack followed deadly U.S. airstrikes on Sunday that killed 25 fighters of the Iran-backed militia in Iraq, carried out in retaliation for last week’s killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that American officials blamed on the militia.
USA Today also said:
Amid renewed tensions in the Middle East, President Donald Trump on Tuesday blamed Iran for insurgents storming the U.S. Embassy in Iraq and threatened Tehran over the incident.
"Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities," Trump tweeted late in the day. "They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat. Happy New Year!"
He also said the U.S. embassy in Baghdad is safe and "has been for hours," and he thanked Iraqi leaders for their assistance.
Earlier in the day, Trump said Iran would be held "fully responsible" for violence targeting Americans.
"Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many," Trump said in his morning tweet. "We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq."
Supporters of the Iraq Shiite militia, which is backed by Iran, broke into the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad earlier Tuesday, setting fire to a reception area amid tear gas and gunfire.
As protesters massed outside the U.S. compound in Baghdad, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a statement that "we are sending additional forces to support our personnel at the Embassy."
The episode hearkened to the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, in which four Americans were killed, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens. Republicans were heavily critical of the Obama administration’s response to that attack, and that criticism become a central GOP talking point against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who was the Secretary of State at the time of the attack.
Trump sought to head off those comparisons by tweeting at one point that the U.S. response to this incident was "The Anti-Benghazi!"