The first videos purportedly showing the redeployment of American forces from Kuwait to Iraq in order to defend the US Embassy, which has been besieged by protesters since 31 December, emerged online on 1 January. Their redeployment was announced earlier by the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force, which noted that US Marines were transported to their destination using MV-22 Osprey vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.
Images from the US Embassy in Baghdad depict MV-22 Ospreys delivering U.S. Marines to the US Embassy in Baghdad to reinforce security and ensure the safety of American citizens. @CENTCOM @OIRSpox @USMARCENT pic.twitter.com/9nUbWmBCuV— SPMAGTF CR CC (@SPMAGTF_CR_CC) December 31, 2019
One of the videos that surfaced online allegedly shows Marines preparing their weapons and boarding the Ospreys ahead of their redeployment from Kuwait to Iraq.
Iraq: US marines arriving at Bagdhad pic.twitter.com/0VHw5jCeNU— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) December 31, 2019
Another video purportedly showed the moment when the aircraft carrying US troops landed on the embassy's premises.
The Marines didn't come alone, however, but brought several AH-64 Apache combat helicopters, which released countermeasures above the Iraqi capital at night.
The Marines have arrived at the U.S Embassy.— ☤𝓢𝒌𝓪𝓲☤ (@Ravagiing) December 31, 2019
Along with AH-64 Apaches.
[Meanwhile Iraq PM announced three days of mourning as he called them "martyrs" ]
No doubt there will be a lot more "mourning" if Iran & Hezbollah do not stand down. pic.twitter.com/dMNyMYiFfV
Following the attack on the embassy, US Defence Secretary Mark Esper announced the deployment of 750 American soldiers to the region to safeguard US personnel.
Several videos also emerged allegedly showing protesters besieging the US Embassy in Iraq and yelling at the guards, who were barricaded inside, and trying to force their way in by using an improvised door ram.
#USMarines hiding like rats inside the #US embassy in #Baghdad, #Iraq worrying about the masses surrounding the embassy following the #US aggression that killed 31 & wounded 50 of #Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces that are part of #Iraq's Armed Forcespic.twitter.com/baYUpXGq6G— realSeifBitar (@BitarReal) January 1, 2020
WATCH: Thousands of Iraqi protesters furious over deadly U.S. airstrikes storm the American Embassy in Baghdad, breaking down doors and setting fires https://t.co/zS7HQXjDyF pic.twitter.com/MO3UnaG06q— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 31, 2019
One video purportedly showed how the defenders inside the embassy attempted to disperse the besieging crowd by using tear gas and smoke.
شلیک گاز اشکآور و نارنجک دودزا از سوی گارد حفاظت سفارت آمریکا در بغداد به سمت معترضان عراقی pic.twitter.com/fWwZs03vFC— باشگاه خبرنگاران جوان (@yjcagency) January 1, 2020
The protests near the US Embassy erupted on 31 December and continued on the 1 January, with the crowd setting its fence and entrance on fire and unsuccessfully trying to breach the perimeter. Washington responded to the attack on the building by redeploying troops and promising to send a total of 750 servicemen to the region.
The protests came as a response to US airstrikes against Kata’ib Hezbollah bases in Iraq and Syria, which claimed the lives of 25 people. The US, however, accused Iran of organising them, with President Donald Trump "threatening" that Tehran would pay "a very big price" for it. The Islamic Republic has denied involvement and cautioned Washington against issuing such threats.