Iraq protesters attack US Embassy

Dingle McFarland and Ryan Davis

On December 31, 2019, a United States Embassy office was attacked by 6,000 Iraqi and an Iran backed militia. The protest was caused by an airstrike from the US army that killed 25 members of an Iranian-backed militia over the previous weekend. The US said these strikes were in response to a rocket attack that killed a US contractor.  


These attacks against the US Embassy began on New Years Eve, when hundreds of protestors stormed the Embassy compound. The protestors smashed windows at the Embassy and vandalized the walls along with setting fires.  


The protestors stayed overnight, setting up tents. The next day they began to recite verses from the Koran through a loudspeaker and hurled rocks over the Embassy walls. The US responded by throwing tear gas at the protestors. Later that night, the protestors relocated to the other side of the Tigris River as US Apache helicopters circled above the Embassy.  


On January 2nd, 2020, President Trump and US officials carried out strikes in Baghdad against many targets linked to Iran. Among these targets, Qassem Soleimani was killed. Soleimani was the head of Iran’s elite Quds force. 


Over the weekend, President Trump continued to send troops not only to Iran but multiple countries in the Middle East as tensions rise between the two nations. On Sunday, Iraq’s parliament called for the expulsion of US troops in Iraq. On the same day Iran also placed a $80 million dollar bounty on President Trump. 


On Saturday President Trump issued multiple warnings and threats to Iran, saying that the US had recently spent $2 Trillion dollars on the Military and Military equipment saying that if Iran tries anything he is prepared to use that military. Trump also announced that he has 52 major targets in Iran after the 52 American hostages that were being held in Iran in 1979. 


On Tuesday, Iran fired 15 ballistic missiles into Iraq-based American military bases, hitting 11 while 4 missiles missed, one of which shot down a Ukrainian airplane killing all on board. President Trump said he is monitoring the situation and many Americans are waiting to see how he will respond.  


President Trump said that this will not be another Benghazi as he sent troops in 13 minutes rather than Obama and Hillary waiting 13 Hours. Coach Chuck Welch exclaimed, “Trump is doing a great job after all, we don’t want another Benghazi.”   


The decisions that have been made, are causing concern to the citizens of the United States. Oakdale teacher Elizabeth Smith stated, “I am concerned that the administration is not thinking about the consequences. We understand the desire to show stronger force however, there are other things we could have done rather than military strikes. These are impulsive actions from our president.” 


Then, Smith later stated, “There is not enough information for the people (to respond); it’s almost like Monday-morning quarter-backing.” 


Many Americans are worried that these conflicts could escalate and turn into war. As of now things seem to be calming down but some people are still worried. Will this conflict grow and turn into war or will the tensions die down?