Pompeo Cancels Ukraine Trip Amid Baghdad Embassy Protest

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Pompeo Cancels Ukraine Trip Amid Baghdad Embassy Protest
He postponed the trip so he can continue to monitor the situation around the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is no longer traveling to Ukraine on Friday. He postponed the trip so he can continue to monitor the situation around the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Pro-Iranian protesters withdrew from the perimeter of the embassy compound on Wednesday. They'd been protesting for two days in response to deadly U.S. airstrikes against Iranian-backed militia operating in Iraq over the weekend. 

U.S. troops guarding the embassy fired tear gas at the protesters several times after some of them broke into the embassy's compound, set a reception area on fire and broke some of the building's windows. 

Defense Secretary Mark Esper deployed 750 troops to the Middle East in response to the protests. 

A State Department spokesperson said late Wednesday that security forces surrounding the embassy in Baghdad would remain "heightened" despite the fact that protesters had drawn back. 

Meanwhile, the embassy suspended all public consulate operations until further notice. U.S. citizens are also being advised not to travel to Iraq. 

Pompeo had been scheduled to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during his trip — making him the first member of President Trump's cabinet to meet with Zelenskyy since the House started its impeachment inquiry. The State Department says the trip will be rescheduled shortly. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN