After dozens of Shiite militiamen and their supporters broke into the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad on Tuesday, the Pentagon has announced that one hundred U.S. Marines are on their way to defend the embassy.
The Marines are traveling in Chinook helicopters to where the attack occurred.
President Trump sent warnings to Iran, saying their government will be held ‘fully responsible’ for the attack.
‘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 tweeted.
“The Pentagon announced 100 Marines will be sent to the US Embassy in Baghdad to bolster security in the wake of an attack where hundreds of pro-Iran militia members stormed the compound, set walls on fire and chanted ‘Death to America!’ in retaliation for American air strikes on Tuesday,” Daily Mail reported.
“American soldiers inside the embassy have fired tear gas, stun grenades and warning shots, wounding 62 of the hundreds of fighters who broke down the gate and set fires within the complex in the Iraqi capital, according to the Popular Mobilization Forces, an umbrella group for the militias recognized by the Iraqi government,” the report added.
The militiamen smashed the main door and set fire to a reception area.
This is one of the worst attacks on the embassy in recent memory, Associated Press reports.
The militiamen are angered by deadly airstrikes targeting an Iran-backed militia, the report adds.
U.S. soldiers responded by firing tear gas at the militiamen on embassy grounds.
An American contractor was killed last week, according to President Trump, and they have wounded many others.
The attack came after the U.S. conducted airstrikes on Sunday.
The airstrikes reportedly killed 25 fighters of the Iran-backed militia in Iraq.
In retaliation, they killed an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base.
American officials blamed the attack on the militia.
More from NBC:
Trump’s tweet came after dozens of angry Iraqi Shiite militia supporters stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad and set fire to a reception area on the grounds earlier in the day.
The Iraqi supporters, many dressed in military apparel, pushed into the compound using cars to break through its gate. The protesters hung a poster on the wall saying, “America is an aggressor.”
Though the mob stopped short of entering the main building of the compound, many shouted “Down, Down, USA!” and flung water and rocks over the embassy walls. About 30 Iraqi soldiers in armored vehicles arrived near the embassy hours after the violence, according to an Associated Press report.
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said, “The President is in close touch with his national security team and is receiving regular updates.”
“As the President said, Iran is orchestrating this attack and they will be held fully responsible. It will be the President’s choice how and when we respond to their escalation,” Grisham added.
WATCH: Thousands of Iraqi protesters furious over deadly U.S. airstrikes storm the American Embassy in Baghdad, breaking down doors and setting fires https://t.co/zS7HQXjDyF pic.twitter.com/MO3UnaG06q
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 31, 2019