BAGHDAD (AP) — Eight rockets focused the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad’s closely fortified Inexperienced Zone late Sunday, Iraq’s navy and Iraqi officers stated, sparking fears of renewed unrest as subsequent month’s anniversary of the U.S. slaying of an Iranian basic attracts close to.
An Iraqi navy assertion stated an “an outlawed group” launched eight rockets focusing on the Inexperienced Zone, injuring one Iraqi safety particular person manning a checkpoint and inflicting materials harm to a residential advanced and a few vehicles. The residential advanced is normally empty.
The U.S. Embassy’s C-RAM protection system, which is used to destroy missiles in mid-air, was activated to deflect the assault, the embassy stated in a press release.
“The U.S. Embassy confirms rockets focusing on the Worldwide Zone (Inexperienced Zone) resulted within the engagement of embassy defensive methods,” the assertion stated. It stated there was some minor harm to the embassy compound.
“We name on all Iraqi political and governmental leaders to take steps to forestall such assaults and maintain accountable these accountable,” the assertion stated.
The thundering sound of the protection system may very well be heard by Related Press reporters situated on the opposite facet of the Tigris River.
The C-RAM system was put in by the U.S. over the summer time as armed teams stepped up rocket assaults focusing on the embassy and its premises.
The U.S. withdrew some workers from its embassy in Baghdad earlier this month, quickly lowering personnel forward of the primary anniversary of the U.S. airstrike that killed Iran’s prime basic, Qassim Soleimani, exterior Baghdad’s airport on Jan. 3. American officers stated the discount stemmed from issues a couple of doable retaliatory strike.
Soleimani’s killing sparked outrage and led Iraq’s parliament to go a non-binding decision days later calling for the expulsion of all international troops from Iraq.
The frequency of rocket assaults in Iraq has pissed off the Trump administration. Iran-backed militia teams have been blamed for orchestrating the assaults.
In September, Washington warned Iraq that it’ll shut its embassy in Baghdad if the federal government fails to take decisive motion to finish rocket and different assaults by Iranian-backed militias on American and allied pursuits within the nation.
The partial withdrawal from the embassy got here amid a drawdown of American troops from Iraq and Afghanistan introduced by the outgoing Trump administration final month. In Iraq, the U.S. plans to cut back the variety of troops from 3,000 to 2,500 by mid-January, earlier than Trump is to go away workplace.
Related Press author Murtada Faraj contributed to this report.
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