Stunning footage has emerged of the Iranian consulate in Basra, Iraq burning after a mob of anti-Iran protesters stormed it near dusk on Friday.

The flames appear multiple stories high and several explosions can be observed amidst the massive blaze:

On Thursday evening Iran’s consulate in Basra was placed under siege by a throng of demonstrators after a 24-hour period in which a dozen local Shia militia HQ offices and buildings were torched across the city. Mass protests and riots have grown in the city since Monday.

The same night in Baghdad, regional sources indicate at least three mortars targeted the US embassy in Baghdad’s protected ‘green zone’ landing near the gate but not causing significant damage. The events were part of a worsening sectarian crisis across the country in which pro-Iran Shia forces have vowed to expel “foreign occupying forces” — however in the Sunni-majority southern city of Basra, Sunni groups have been engaged in mob reprisal attacks.

Moments ago as evening descends on Iraq, Al Arabiya and other regional sources report a large group of demonstrators have now stormed the Iranian consulate at the end of Thursday overnight and daylong Friday protests.

Reuters confirms the consulate was overtaken by the mob near dusk local time: “The consulate is in the upscale neighborhood of al-Barda’iya, southeast of the city center,” according to early reporting.

Early unconfirmed video circulating among regional sources show that the consulate is on fire.

The below are the first unconfirmed photos of the burning Iran consulate to emerge:

Men wielding sticks and small weapons were filmed making their way toward the consulate Thursday overnight. Chants could be heard in front of the consulate, saying “Iran out, Basra remains free”.

Earlier in the week as Iraqi government buildings came under attack Iran formally requested that Baghdad send extra security personnel to guard the consulate. Prior local reports suggest there was a beefed up security presence; however, crowds of demonstrators appear to have swelled during the night.


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