The Pentagon is prepared for another onslaught against the US Embassy in Baghdad, and has prepared to stand toe-to-toe with prejudice against any Iranian-backed factions that threaten the safety of its ambassadors.
Following Tuesday’s attack, Defense Secretary Mark Esper spoke of the pro-Iranian belligerents who attempted to storm the US Embassy on Tuesday, claiming the USA will have none of it.
“The provocative behavior has been out there for months… So do I think they may do something? Yes. And they will likely regret it,” he said. “We are prepared to exercise self-defense, and we are prepared to deter further bad behavior from these groups, all of which are sponsored, directed and resourced by Iran.”
US Marines were sent into the embassy under the protective watch of US Army AH-64 Apache gunships, which have a long history of quelling unrest in the Iraqi capital. Not long after the improvised quick reaction composite force was dispatched, elements of the 82nd Airborne were deployed to the area to potentially handle any issues.
Pro-Iranian members of Kataeb Hezbollah (which belongs to Iraq’s government-sanctioned Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), were quickly dispatched over the weekend by US Air Force assets after a US contractor base was attacked last Friday.
The PMF set up positions around the embassy, showing that Tehran has just as much -if not more- pull than Washington in the nation of Iraq.
According to the Daily Mail, he Hezbollah Brigade’s lightning-fast deployment sparked concerns that ambassadors in Iraq would see the same kind of scene that took place in Iran back in the 1970s, or even Libya in the 2010s.
The response by the US, however, was a clear sign that the lessons of the past had been learned.
Iraq is largely divided between Iranian-backed Shiites and their Sunni counterparts, the latter being less provocative and predisposed to dealing with the neighboring state.
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