Iranian-backed militants attacked the United States’ embassy in Iraq on Tuesday. The attackers damaged property and set fires before being driven back.
In response, President Trump declared that there would be consequences.
He’s had enough
“The U.S. Embassy in Iraq is, & has been for hours, SAFE! Many of our great Warfighters, together with the most lethal military equipment in the world, was immediately rushed to the site. Thank you to the President & Prime Minister of Iraq for their rapid response upon request,” Trump announced in a tweet the same day as the attack.
“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!” he concluded.
A war of words
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei shot back with a statement of his own.
“The Iranian government, the Iranian nation, and I strongly condemn the US’s malice,” Khamenei replied via state media.
“That guy has tweeted that we see Iran responsible for the events in Baghdad and we will respond to Iran,” the Iranian leader said referring to Trump.
“Firstly, you can’t do anything and secondly, if you were logical—which you’re not—you’d see that your crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan… have made nations hate you,” Khamenei 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 is reporting that protesters continue to surround the embassy and are demanding the withdrawal of all American troops from the country.
On Tuesday Fox quoted Secretary of Defense Mark Esper as saying, “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.”
The attack came after US planes launched airstrikes against Hezbollah Brigades several days ago. The group was blamed for a rocket attack that killed an American contractor.