Thousands of Iraqi protesters stormed the front gates of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday in one of the most violent incursions into the compound in recent years.

reports that the crowd managed to breach the front gates and burn a security kiosk but did not enter the main compound due to a swift response from Iraqi security forces.

The violent protests erupted in response to U.S. airstrikes against Iran-backed militias, purportedly carried out in retaliation for the killing of a U.S. civilian contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base.

President Donald Trump accused Iran of fomenting the protests,
tweeting: “To those many millions of people in Iraq who want freedom and who don't want to be dominated and controlled by Iran, this is your time!”

Several videos of the scene capture the chaos currently gripping the city: