NY Times tweet on 'Iraqi mourners' storming Baghdad embassy prompts backlash online

The New York Times is facing backlash for referring to the violent protestors who tried to storm the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday as "Iraqi mourners."

Crowds of angry Iraqis protesting America's recent airstrikes against an Iran-backed militia laid siege to the U.S. Embassy compound, chanting "Down, down USA!" as they stormed through a main gate, prompting U.S. guards to fire tear gas in response.

However, the Times offered a more sympathetic description of the mob.

"Hundreds of Iraqi mourners tried to storm the United States Embassy in Baghdad, shouting 'Down, down USA!,' in response to deadly American airstrikes this week that killed 25 fighters," the paper tweeted with its report. As of Tuesday afternoon, the report itself made no mention of "mourners" at the compound, although it noted that Iraq's prime minister "announced an official three-day mourning period for the men killed in the strikes."

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The tweet was widely panned on social media.

"Your 'mourners' must be upset about a video. But these attackers are Hezbollah supporters. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, #fixthis" U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell told the Times.

"NYT using a novel definition of 'mourners' here ('Iraqi militia paid and controlled by Iran')," Washington Free Beacon contributor Noah Pollak reacted.

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The Times did not respond to Fox News' request for comment.

A U.S. defense official told Fox News that 100 Marines were being sent to the embassy to bolster security. Defense Secretary Mark Esper later confirmed additional forces were being sent, as the military released images of those forces deploying from Kuwait.

Fox News' Ronn Blitzer, Lucas Tomilson, Greg Norman and Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.