Protesters Withdraw From US Embassy in Iraq, But Tensions Remain

Iraqi PMU leaders call on supporters to withdraw for now

Protests against the US Embassy in Baghdad have ended on Wednesday, with the Iraqi government and the leadership of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) militias urging a pullback from the site, and amid US guards firing tear gas against them.

The protests came after Sunday’s US attacks on five PMU bases in Iraq and Syria. The PMU, part of Iraq’s security forces, had a number  of representatives at the protest, to the point that the US was blaming them for it.

The PMU issued a statement on the protests, saying that the “message has been received” by the US. One of the protesters said they had “achieved the intended aim” and “pulled out from this place triumphantly.”

The US has threatened more attacks against PMU targets, and has also threatened Iran. The specific PMU militia attacked, Ketaib Hezbollah, has threatened to retaliate against US forces for the weekend attack.

Beyond that, nothing has really been resolved, and nothing agreed to. The US is moving hastily to get more troops into Kuwait, likely anticipating further blowups going forward.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.