After two days of angry demonstrations over the U.S. air strikes targeting Iranian-backed militia in Iraq and Syria, protesters have withdrawn from the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. On Tuesday, slogan-chanting crowd had entered the embassy compound in the highly-fortified zone and set the wall on fire. Demonstrators hurled stones at the diplomatic mission office on Wednesday and broke its windows. U.S. forces retaliated by firing tear gas on the Iran-backed militiamen. The Iraqi government and senior leaders of the militia had called on the protesters to calm down. Tensions mounted in the Middle East Monday as U.S. forces conducted air strikes against five facilities of Kataib Hizbollah (KH) in Iraq and Syria in response to last week's rocket attacks by the Iranian-backed militia on an Iraqi base near Kirkuk that killed a U.S. civilian contractor. Iran and Iraq warned that the United States will have to face consequences for the air strikes, while protesters attacked the U.S. Embassy. Tensions escalated with Trump warning that Iran "will pay a very big price" for 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," Trump tweeted. The US ambassador and embassy staff were evacuated. AH-64 Apaches and more U.S. troops were deployed to protect the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
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