The U.S Embassy in Baghdad was the scene of conflict ahead of the New Year when Iran-backed militants attempted to storm the compound. According to the Los Angeles Times, the attackers started a fire and smashed property before being pushed back — and now, President Donald Trump has promised that the U.S. isn’t done yet.
In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Trump promised that the U.S. Embassy in Iraq is now “safe” and that those who orchestrated the attack “will be held fully responsible.”
“Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities,” Trump tweeted on New Year’s Eve, according to Breitbart. “They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat. Happy New Year!”
“This is not a warning”
In his Tuesday tweets, the president linked the recent attack on the embassy in Iraq’s capital city to an earlier incident in which U.S. planes targeted Hezbollah leaders in retaliation for the death of an American contractor, the BBC noted. “Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many,” Trump wrote. “We strongly responded, and always will.”
The commander-in-chief also reported that Iran “will be held fully responsible” for “orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.”
….Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities. They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat. Happy New Year!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2019
“You can’t do anything”
For his part, Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, gave an angry reply to Trump’s message, declaring to state-controlled media: “The Iranian government, the Iranian nation, and I strongly condemn the U.S.’s malice.”
Referring to Trump as “that guy,” Khamenei taunted that he “can’t do anything.”
“Firstly, you can’t do anything,” the Iran leader said. “And secondly, if you were logical — which you’re not — you’d see that your crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan…have made nations hate you.”
He went on: “If the Islamic Republic decides to challenge and fight, it will do so unequivocally. We’re not after wars, but we strongly defend the Iranian nation’s interests, dignity, and glory. If anyone threatens that, we will unhesitatingly confront and strike them.”
Fox News has reported that protesters are surrounding the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and are demanding its removal, along with the withdrawal of all American troops from the country. Meanwhile, Trump has ordered the deployment of hundreds more American soldiers to the region, with thousands more expected to follow.
“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,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a statement. “We are sending additional forces to support our personnel at the Embassy.”