Why The Attacks At The US Embassy In Baghdad Were The Anti-Benghazi
Image Credits: AP Photo/Nasser Nasser
On Tuesday, December 31, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad was under attack by Iraqi protesters. These protesters were Iranian-backed militia members known as the Kataib Hezbollah militia. They were said to have been protesting US air strikes which allegedly started as a response to the killing of an American defense contractor and injuring American troops on Friday, December 27, 2019. The standoff continued into Wednesday morning, with the US forces firing off tear gas, and the militia hurling large stones, smashing windows, and chanting “Death to America” as they breached the main entrance to the Embassy during their attempted raid.
Many leftists tweeted during the standoff that this was “Trump’s Benghazi,” with the hashtag #trumpghazi trending on Twitter. However, the idea that this event was anything close to what happened at the U.S. Embassy in Libya, is completely ludicrous. There were four American deaths resulting from the attacks in Benghazi, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens. The attacks in Libya began on the anniversary of 9/11 in 2012 at 9:42 pm. U.S. Based Special Operations Forces were not authorized for deployment to the U.S. Embassy in Libya until 2:53 am – over five hours after the initial attack. However, The Special forces did not arrive to the Embassy until 5:05 am, 8 hours after the initial attack, which was much too late for Ambassador Stevens, who was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital at 4:34 am.
In Baghdad, Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper released a statement following the breach of the embassy, indicating that additional forces were being sent for further protection. It was also reported by the Associated Press that the Iraqi security forces made no effort to combat these attacks on the embassy and even permitted them to pass through a security checkpoint. The United States military took immediate action by sending additional military support, suffered no American casualties, and was able to force the militia members to retreat. President Trump took his thoughts on the attack to Twitter, blaming Iran for these attacks on the U.S.
Throughout the standoff, President Trump made the following statements via Twitter:
“Iran killed an American contractor, wounded many. We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. They will be held fully responsible. In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified.”
After the standoff, the President tweeted this:
“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. Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities. They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat. Happy New Year!”
The idea that these attacks in Baghdad were the “Benghazi of the Trump Administration” could not be further from the truth. While tensions still remain high in Baghdad, we are very grateful that no American deaths were reported from these ruthless attacks. We pray for the family of the American defense contractor who was killed near Kirkuk, Iraq. His name has not since been released.