Rockets are fired at US embassy in Baghdad 


Rockets have been fired at the US embassy in Iraq’s capital, according to security sources. 

At least three rockets targeted the building in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad. 

One of them fell within the perimeter of the Green Zone but others landed in surrounding residential neighbourhoods. 

A statement from the military said there were no casualties and that an investigation was ongoing. The rockets were launched from the Salam area of Baghdad, it said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. 

There was minor property damage, including a damaged vehicle. The Green Zone houses foreign embassies and is the seat of Iraq’s government. 

The U.S. Embassy was a frequent target of rocket attacks during the Trump administration. The pace of attacks abated in the weeks before Biden took office and recently resumed. 

Rockets have been fired at the US embassy in Iraq’s capital, according to security sources. Pictured: A member of the Iraqi security forces inspects the damage outside the Zawraa park in the capital Baghdad on November 18, 2020, after volley of rockets slammed into the Iraqi capital breaking a month-long truce on attacks against the US embassy

In a statement released on Twitter, Iraq’s security services said: ‘Two rockets fell on the Green Zone, without causing any casualties, and the follow-up by the security forces is continuing.’ 

A security source within the Green Zone said the C-RAM anti-rocket defence system deployed at the US embassy did not fire because the rockets were not projected to land within the diplomatic compound. 

A security source told AFP at least one rocket hit the headquarters of Iraq’s National Security Service near the US diplomatic mission, damaging several cars parked there. 

A US-led coalition deployed in Iraq since 2014 to help local forces fight jihadists also operates a base near the American embassy.

‘The coalition reports no damages or injuries,’ coalition spokesman Wayne Marotto said on Twitter.

At least one other rocket crashed into the nearby residential district of Harithiya, the military said.

A resident of the area told AFP the rocket damaged a multi-storey parking complex just a few metres from his home.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the military said it had located the launchpad in a northern district of Baghdad.

The United States said Monday it would hold Iran to account for its Iraqi allies after rocket fire hit the US embassy in Baghdad, but insisted it would not be drawn into an escalation.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States was ‘outraged’ by recent attacks in Iraq and said, ‘We will hold Iran responsible for the actions of its proxies that attack Americans.’

‘What we will not do is lash out and risk an escalation that plays into the hands of Iran and contributes to their attempts to further destabilize Iraq,’ Price told reporters.

The attack is the third in a week to target Western diplomatic, military or commercial installations in Iraq after months of relative calm. 

Yesterday, at least eight Katyusha rockets landed in the Green zone in an attack targeting the US embassy, causing some minor damage on the compound.   

The Iraqi military said an ‘outlaw group’ fired the eight rockets. Most of the missiles hit a residential complex and a security checkpoint inside the zone, damaging buildings and cars and wounding one Iraqi soldier, a military statement said.

Sirens blared from the embassy compound inside the zone, which houses government buildings and foreign missions.

An anti-rocket system diverted one of the rockets, said one security official whose office is inside the Green Zone.

The US Embassy condemned the attack and urged all Iraqi political and governmental leaders to take steps to prevent such attacks and to hold accountable those responsible. 

‘The US Embassy confirms rockets targeting the International Zone resulted in the engagement of Embassy defensive systems. There was some minor damage on the Embassy compound but no injuries or casualties,’ it said in a statement.

In a subsequent statement, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there had been at least one Iraqi civilian casualty and wished those hurt a speedy recovery.

A week ago, a rocket strike on a US base in Iraq by a group believed to have links to Iran has wounded several Americans and killed a foreign contractor.

More than a dozen 107mm rockets were fired at the military complex in Erbil airport that has hosted troops deployed as part of the international alliance fighting ISIS since 2014.

Video shows red hot shrapnel and smoke filling the air after a rocket landed in the middle of a street in Erbil last week. As well as the US contractors wounded and the foreign contractor killed, five Iraqi civilians were wounded in the attack

Video shows red hot shrapnel and smoke filling the air after a rocket landed in the middle of a street in Erbil last week. As well as the US contractors wounded and the foreign contractor killed, five Iraqi civilians were wounded in the attack

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he was ‘outraged’ and vowed to ‘hold accountable those responsible’ without giving details on the injured Americans.     

The bombardment was claimed by a shadowy group calling itself ‘Guardians of Blood,’ which US forces believe is one of many which have sprung up in Iraq as fronts for pro-Iranian factions.  

The United Nations warned Iraq could spin out of control following the first attacks on Western forces in almost two months. 

A wounded civilian is treated in the hospital after last week's rocket strikes directed at the US-led coalition based at Erbil International Airport

A wounded civilian is treated in the hospital after last week’s rocket strikes directed at the US-led coalition based at Erbil International Airport

More than a dozen 107mm rockets were fired at the military complex in Erbil airport last Monday evening that has hosted troops deployed as part of the international alliance fighting ISIS since 2014.  The base is where the highest concentration of America's remaining 2,500 troops in the war-ravaged country are stationed.

More than a dozen 107mm rockets were fired at the military complex in Erbil airport last Monday evening that has hosted troops deployed as part of the international alliance fighting ISIS since 2014.  The base is where the highest concentration of America’s remaining 2,500 troops in the war-ravaged country are stationed.

US officials blame Iran-backed militia for regular rocket attacks on U.S. facilities in Iraq, including near the embassy in Baghdad. No known Iran-backed groups have claimed responsibility. 

Pompeo called such militias the most serious impediment to peace and prosperity in Iraq, and added: ‘We call on all Iraqis to support their government’s efforts to reinforce Iraq’s sovereignty, to bring to justice those responsible for these reprehensible attacks and ensure that all the currently Iran-backed militias are under state control.’ 

An array of militia groups announced in October that they had suspended rocket attacks on U.S. forces on condition that Iraq’s government present a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops.

But a rocket strike on the U.S. Embassy on November 18 was a clear sign that Iranian-backed militias had decided to resume attacks on U.S. bases, according to Iraqi security officials. 

Washington, which is slowly reducing its 5,000 troops in Iraq, threatened to shut its embassy unless the Iraqi government reins in Iran-aligned militias.

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