Over the weekend, the United States reportedly carried out a series of three airstrikes against Iranian-backed forces near Iraq.
Locals in Iraq have now responded, attacking the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
The biggest fear most Americans had when the images started to come through was that another Benghazi was about to take place.
Huge crowds of angry Iraqis were seen trying to ram their way through the Embassy doors.
Flames and smoke could be seen in the background, images that are eerily similar to what we saw in Benghazi.
While the mob was attacking the embassy, chants of “Down USA!” cold be heard.
At the mob became more violent, U.S. guards at the embassy were forced to deploy tear gas to keep the mob away from the embassy.
By Tuesday night local time, locals were setting up tents, planning a sit in at the embassy until US forces have been removed from the area.
At one point, armed U.S. guards were seen atop the roof, weapons ready.
Reports started to surface that U.S. personnel had been evacuated, but U.S. representatives immediately pushed back on the claim.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper stated, “We have taken appropriate force protection actions to ensure the safety of American citizens, military personnel and diplomats in country, and to ensure our right of self-defense.
“We are sending additional forces to support our personnel at the Embassy.”
Trump Demands Protection
As the situation continued to play out, President Trump called on Iraqi officials to ensure the safety of Americans.
Trump, via Twitter, stated, “We expect Iraq to use it forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!”
Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many. We strongly responded, and always will. 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2019
As all this was playing out, a statement from the Iraqi National Security Council was released, stating, “The Iraqi Government condemns this act and considers it a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.
“This is a serious violation of the rules of engagement of the Coalition forces, including the US forces, in carrying out operations without the approval of the Iraqi Government.”
This statement was in direct conflict from the message received by the State Department that our embassy would be protected, so there is obvious confusion about what exactly is going on.
Senator Lindsey Graham was among the first to support Trump, stating, “There will be no Benghazis on his watch.”
Very proud of President @realDonaldTrump acting decisively in the face of threats to our embassy in Baghdad.
He has put the world on notice – there will be no Benghazis on his watch.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 31, 2019
This is a developing story and we will update as necessary.