US President Donald Trump has threatened Iran after blaming it for an attack on the US embassy in Iraq. The compound in Baghdad was attacked by demonstrators furious over the deaths of militia members in US air strikes. Mr Trump tweeted that Iran "will pay a very big price" for any damage or loss of life. "This is not a warning, it is a threat," he said.
But Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei responded by saying the US "can't do a damn thing". Anti-American sentiment was widespread in Iraq, he added. Demonstrators regrouped outside the US embassy on Wednesday. Reports said at least one Iraqi militia had ordered its supporters to leave the area.
US marines are seen being dropped off at the embassy in Baghdad to boost security There were no plans to evacuate the embassy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News. Ambassador Matthew Tueller was outside Iraq for a previously scheduled holiday and was reportedly returning to the embassy.
Iraqi soldiers and riot police were reportedly later deployed in the area, and the protest died down as night fell. Fifty people were treated for tear-gas inhalation at hospitals in Baghdad, a health ministry source told the BBC. Mr Trump said he expected Iraqi forces to protect the embassy and its staff, and thanked Mr Abdul Mahdi for action taken during the attack.