US Marines reinforce security at Baghdad embassy

Posted at 10:28 PM, Jan 03, 2020

BAGHDAD — US Marines stepped up security at the embassy compound in Baghdad on Friday, as tension in the Iraqi capital increased following the US airstrike that killed Iran's top military commander near the airport earlier in the day.

Tehran promised to seek revenge for the death of General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force and the mastermind of Iran's interventions across the Middle East.

The US said it was sending nearly 3,000 more troops to the region, reflecting concern about potential Iranian retaliation for the killing of the general.

It also urged Americans to leave Iraq immediately following the airstrike at Baghdad's international airport that Iran's state TV said killed Soleimani and nine others.

The State Department said the embassy in Baghdad, which was attacked by Iran-backed militiamen and their supporters earlier this week, was closed and all consular services had been suspended.