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Baghdad Updates: President’s comments, Hezbollah message to Trump

By | Rachel Brooks

Contributor | Telegraph Local 

See the New African Living Standard 

The chaos in Baghdad continues. US President Trump has stated that Iran is behind the airstrikes which prompted the protest. This statement was made because the airstrikes were in retaliation of attacks by Iraqi Shiite Hezbollah. Citing Sky News, Tehran, Iran negates any responsibility for the initial airstrikes. 

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In the middle of the chaos, US President spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abd al-Mahdi about protecting US personnel in the country. The White House released a statement stating that the two leaders had discussed regional security issues. 

In Trump’s most recent posts, he has referred to this incident as the Anti-Bengahzi because of how his administration responded to events. This was within the last hour. Also within the last hour, Mr. Trump stated: 

“…Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damages incurred, at any of our facilities. They will pay a very big price! This is not a Warning, this is a Threat. Happy New Year!”.  

Within the last hour, President Trump also had this to say: 

 

“The Fake News said I played golf today, and I did not! I had a meeting in various locations, while closely monitoring the US Embassy situation in Iraq, which I am still doing. The Corrupt Lamestream Media knew this but, not surprisingly, failed to report correct!” 

Rudaw English also shared a video of militia sending messages to the President early in the day of protests. The speaker on screen states the following: 

This is a letter to Trump and the American embassy in Baghdad and its consulate in Erbil and in Basra. Those who have attacked our forces and our Jihadi brothers w’allah hi w’allah if this fire reaches inside of the embassy we will not spare a single employee. We are the children of the martyrs and this is our statement. Death to America.”

Which was echoed by the other militiamen on screen, “Death to America.” 

Politico reports that the US State Department has already likewise faulted the Iraqi government for their failure to respond to the Kataib Hezbollah attack on the embassy. The Iraqi government allowed Hezbollah to do this because they were themselves enraged against the US airstrike cost of life. Inferred by Politico, and the comments made by Hezbollah on Rudaw English, the situation is likely to escalate. 

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Hezbollah made mention of Erbil and Basra in their comments on Rudaw English. As of the last hour, Erbil has not seen any reported corresponding attacks. Kurdistan 24 states that Iraq’s prime minister and the parliament speaker has condemned the attack. As of the last day, no news indicating hostilities has risen out of Basra. However, the news out of Basra does report that the Iran-backed bloc has nominated the Basra governor as PM this week, citing Al Jazeera. This indicates a strong political presence of Iran-backed militia and politics in Basra which could escalate the US tensions there. 

This is a developing story. The Telegraph Local is still working to confirm the status of the US diplomats and personnel that were within the Embassy compound. Continue to check back here for real-time updates on the escalations of the US-Baghdad crisis. 

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