Protesters vandalise the US embassy wall in Baghdad in a gesture to condemn US air attacks on an Iran-backed militia [Thaier al-Sudani/Reuters]

Hundreds of protesters breached the outer walls of the heavily fortified US embassy compound in Baghdad on Tuesday, setting parts of its parameter on fire – an angry reaction to deadly US air raids days earlier against Kataib Hizbollah, an Iran-backed militia.

Most of the protesters, members of the paramilitary group Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation Forces, or PMF), were clad in military fatigues.

PMF is an umbrella organisation of several armed militia groups – including Kataib Hezbollah – funded and armed by Iran, but with formal links to the Iraqi armed forces.

Shouting “Down, Down USA!”, the crowd hurled rocks and water

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