Rockets said to hit near US embassy in Iraq capital

Five projectiles slam into Green Zone, where mission is located; no injuries reported, according to security sources

The US embassy in Baghdad, Iraq in 2014 (Public Domain/US State Department)
The US embassy in Baghdad, Iraq in 2014 (Public Domain/US State Department)

A volley of rockets landed near the US embassy in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Sunday, two security sources told AFP, in the latest unclaimed attack on American installations in the country.

AFP reporters heard loud thuds emanating from the western bank of the Tigris, where the US embassy and most other foreign diplomatic missions are located.

One security source said three Katyusha rockets hit near the high-security compound while another said as many as five struck the area.

Later Iraq’s security forces said in a statement that five rockets hit the high-security Green Zone with no casualties. It did not mention the US embassy.

The rocket fire comes two days after thousands massed in Baghdad in response to a call by populist cleric Moqtada Sadr for a rally to demand the ouster of US troops from Iraq.

America’s military presence has been a hot-button issue in Iraq since a US strike killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and a top Iraqi commander outside Baghdad airport on January 3.

Last month, pro-Iranian protesters breached the outer wall of the the US embassy and burned property inside.

Protesters damage property inside the US embassy compound, in Baghdad, Iraq, December 31, 2019. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)

Around 5,200 US troops are in Iraq to lead a global coalition fighting the Islamic State group, but Iraq said the strike against Soleimani violated that mandate.

Sunday’s attack was the latest in a series of rocket fire this month targeting the Green Zone, where the Iraqi parliament is also located.

Parliament earlier this month urged the departure of US troops from Iraq, which has been gripped by anti-government protests since October.

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