Pro-Iran demonstrators Wednesday ended a seige at the US embassy in Iraq’s capital after an order from the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) militias, an AFP correspondent said, a day after their dramatic incursion.
“We burned them!” the demonstrators shouted as they streamed out of the high-security Green Zone housing the embassy just as easily as they had walked in on Tuesday.
Trucks picked up the tents and makeshift barricades that had been brought in for the planned sit-in.
Hundreds of Iraqi militiamen and their supporters hurled stones at the US Embassy in Baghdad for a second day on Wednesday and security forces fired tear gas and stun grenades to drive them away.
Crowds had rallied on Tuesday to protest against deadly US air strikes on militia bases, setting fires, throwing rocks and smashing surveillance cameras. They did not breach the huge embassy’s main compound, however.
The strikes were retaliation for the killing of a US civilian contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base, which Washington blamed on Kataib Hezbollah.
More than 5,000 US troops are stationed in Iraq supporting local forces. The air strikes have galvanized calls inside Iraq to expel US forces, not just from Iran-backed militias but also their political rivals.