3 Rockets Land Near US Embassy in Baghdad: Iraqi Officials

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
January 20, 2020Middle Eastshare
3 Rockets Land Near US Embassy in Baghdad: Iraqi Officials
U.S. Army soldiers from 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Task Force-Iraq, man a defensive position at Forward Operating Base Union III in Baghdad, Iraq, on Dec. 31, 2019. (U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Desmond Cassell/Task Force-Iraq Public Affairs/Handout via Reuters)

Iraqi military officials said three rockets landed near Baghdad’s Green Zone, which houses the U.S. Embassy and foreign missions.

Three Katyusha rockets “landed in the vicinity of the Green Zone without any casualties,” said the Iraqi Security Media Cell, which falls under the responsibility of the Iraqi Prime Minister’s office. It did not elaborate but said more details would be provided at a later time.

One reporter posted video footage that purported to show rocket attack alarms in the Green Zone. “Heard the booms myself on Union III. Speakers telling all to take shelter immediately,” said the BBC reporter, Nafiseh Kohnavard, on Twitter.

A Katyusha is a type of rocket artillery that was first built by the Soviet Union during World War II, but later variants were exported to Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and other parts of the Middle East.

Last week, several rockets of the same type were fired “targeting the Taji training camp,” said the Security Media Cell.

“No Coalition troops were affected by this small attack at Taji Base,” Col. Myles Caggins, spokesman for the U.S.-led military coalition, said in a statement at the time.

Tensions have been high in the Middle East after the United States carried out an airstrike that killed Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad in early January. Iran then fired a barrage of missiles at Iraqi bases holding U.S. troops the following week, and sanctions were levied against Tehran by the White House.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, responding to another attack on an Iraqi airbase this month, wrote that he was “outraged” and said that “continued violations of Iraq’s sovereignty by groups not loyal to the Iraqi government must end.”

The Iranian regime’s new Quds Force commander, Esmail Qaani, on Monday said Tehran would “hit his enemy in a manly fashion,” referring to the United States, adding that Washington killed his predecessor in a “cowardly way.” He added: “through endeavors of [those] around the world who want vengeance over his blood, we will hit his enemy in a manly fashion,” Al Jazeera reported.

Meanwhile, six Iraqis, including two police officers, were killed and scores were wounded in Baghdad and other cities on Monday in clashes with security forces, medical and security sources said, as anti-government unrest resumed after a lull of several weeks.

“They (security forces) should stop shooting and aiming, who are they and who are we? Both sides are Iraqis. So why are you killing your brothers?” said one woman protester in Baghdad who declined to give her name.

Reuters contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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