The U.S. State Department is urging all U.S. citizens to leave Iraq after the New Year's Eve attack on the embassy in Baghdad by Hashed al-Shaabi, a pro-Iranian paramilitary group, that caused extensive damage to the property.
"On December 31, 2019, the Embassy suspended public consular services, until further notice, as a result of damage done by Iranian-backed terrorist attacks on the Embassy compound," the State Department said in an update to its Iraq travel advisory on Wednesday.
Photos show a burned and charred reception area, smashed windows and vandalized rooms left behind by supporters and members of the Iranian-trained Hashed al-Shaabi military network, also known as the Popular Mobilization Forces. No deaths or serious injuries have been reported, and the embassy was not evacuated.
In response, the Pentagon deployed 750 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne,based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to the region.