The two-day siege of the U.S. embassy in Iraq ended on Wednesday after the Iran-backed militiamen leading the conflict withdrew from the American compound.
The altercation began after, and reportedly in response to, several U.S. airstrikes against Iranian-sponsored militia forces in Iraq. Protesters threw stones, sprayed graffiti, and smashed windows. The U.S. eventually dispatched 100 Marines and two Apache helicopters to defend the embassy.
On Wednesday afternoon, the militia fighters, known publicly as the Popular Mobilization Forces, had withdrawn after an appeal by the Iraqi government. One supporter claimed the fighters had "rubbed America's nose in the dirt."
A state department spokeswoman dismissed claims that the militia fighters were merely protesters, calling them "terrorists [who were] organized, trained, and equipped by the Iranian regime."