Security Forces Close Roads to American Embassy over U.S. Iraq Withdrawal Sit-in

Security forces on Friday closed all the roads leading to the U.S. Embassy in Awkar because of a nearby rally that was held in celebration of the American withdrawal from Iraq, reported Voice of Lebanon radio.

A statement from the demonstrators praised “the Iraqi people and their resistance that contributed to the country’s liberation.”

“The withdrawal is a victory for the people’s perseverance and a political and national response to all who thought that the occupation and invasion would break the will of the mighty Iraqi people,” it stressed.

Free Lebanon radio also reported that a number of pro-Syrian regime youths gathered near the embassy amid a heavy security presence.

The 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein, who was tried and executed in 2006, and a "surge" of 20,000 additional U.S. troops in 2007 helped to contain a rash of sectarian bloodletting verging on civil war.

The U.S. withdrawal earlier in December ended a war that left tens of thousands of Iraqis and nearly 4,500 American soldiers dead, many more wounded, and 1.75 million Iraqis displaced, after the invasion unleashed brutal sectarian killing.

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