An Iranian backed militia has once again proven that Iran does not always follow the path of peace. It also shows a certain amount of belligerence and a devil-may-care attitude towards the United States. The American embassy in Baghdad is located in the green zone which is a heavily fortified area. For days, the Iranian backed demonstrators had been trying to enter this zone and many were killed by the Iraqi police. Finally, the massive crowds could break the cordon and enter the prohibited zone. The New York Times reported that it came after a show of force by the US Air Force.

On Wednesday, "the demonstrators ended their siege of the embassy," the outlet noted.

The demonstrators

The demonstrators may have withdrawn but they have left behind a trail of devastation. Photographs reveal extensive damage to the embassy. The reception area was burned down. Windows were smashed and many rooms vandalized. This appears to be the handiwork of the Iranian trained Hashd al-Shaabi military network. This organization is also known as the Popular Mobilization Forces. Thankfully no deaths have been reported.

The militia has now withdrawn but to an observer, it appears that the Americans have again been caught on the wrong foot. It's about time somebody was held accountable for this lapse.

American response

The Americans have responded by sending hundreds of troops to the region. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who a few months back had stated that all options were on the table against Iran, has delayed his trip to Ukraine and other Central Asian republics, given the tense situation in Iraq. USA Today has reported that Defence Secretary Mark Esper has said that 750 troops are being moved to the region.

Reports are coming in of hundreds of paratroopers getting ready to fly to the Middle East in C-17 planes. As a soldier I feel, this is too puny a force to affect the region.

The demonstrators outside the embassy started to disperse. It all got sparked when an American contractor was killed. In retaliation, at least two dozen Iranian-backed fighters were killed by US airstrikes.

Now, it appears the leaders of the militia ordered the fighters to leave the area. They declared the operation a win in their aim to expel US troops from Iraq. The militia is far from its aim of getting US troops to leave Iraq as the US has the support of Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Last word

The incident leaves a bad taste in the mouth. One is reminded of the earlier humiliation of the USA, nearly three decades back. At that time, Iranian revolutionary guards had taken over 100 Americans as hostages. America had to pay a large sum of money as ransom to get them released. Jimmy Carter the then-president lost face and the election.