U.S. officials have said that for months Iraqi militias — backed by Iran — have been firing rockets at Iraqi military bases where some U.S. troops and American contractors are also stationed. Last Friday, a rocket attack killed a U.S. contractor in northern Iraq. The U.S. responded with airstrikes on five compounds in Syria and Iraq belonging to a group it blames for the rocket attack, the Iranian-backed militia called Kataib Hezbollah, meaning Hezbollah Brigades. The militia says at least 25 of its fighters died.
After funeral processions Tuesday in Baghdad, militia members and their supporters marched into central Baghdad and the fortified Green Zone, straight to the U.S. Embassy. Iraqi security looked on, but did not intervene initially.
The militia members, who were not armed, didn’t breach the high walls and barbed wire of what is one of the world’s most heavily protected embassies. But they battered their way into a large guardhouse gate building and set it on fire. They also burned a second, small guard post. U.S. Embassy security responded with tear gas and stun grenades.