US Embassy in Baghdad Struck by ‘2 Salvos of Rockets’

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
December 8, 2023Middle East
US Embassy in Baghdad Struck by ‘2 Salvos of Rockets’
Iraqi counter-terrorism forces stand guard in front of the U.S. embassy in the capital Baghdad on Jan. 2, 2020. (Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP via Getty Images)

A number of rockets struck the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad early on Dec. 8 inside the international Green Zone of Iraq’s capital, according to officials, who noted the rocket attack caused material damage but no casualties.

What group was behind the rocket attack wasn’t immediately apparent, but Iranian-linked militias based in Iraq are believed to be responsible for the attack, an embassy spokesperson told NTD News.

In a video from the scene shared on social media, at least three explosions can be heard over sirens and an AI-generated voice on loudspeakers urging people to “take cover,” “get away from the window,” and “await further instructions.”

The U.S. embassy said in a statement to NTD News that “two salvos of rockets” were fired at the mission compound at approximately 4:15 a.m. local time.

“We again call on the Government of Iraq, as we have done on many occasions, to do all in its power to protect diplomatic and Coalition partner personnel and facilities,” the U.S. embassy statement read. “We reiterate that we reserve the right to self-defense and to protect our personnel anywhere in the world.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani condemned the attack in a statement, saying “targeting diplomatic missions is something that cannot be justified.”

Mr. Shia al-Sudani, who came to power with the support of a coalition of Iran-backed parties, called the attack an “insult to Iraq, its stability and security,” and promised to “pursue the perpetrators of the attack … and bring them to justice.”

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) also condemned the missile attack in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying: “UNAMI condemns this morning’s missile attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad. According to international law, all diplomatic headquarters must be protected.”

The mission also said that Iraq could not afford to be drawn into a wider conflict, which would threaten the hard-won stability of the nation.

This morning’s attack was the first missile strike on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad—which is located on the west bank of the Tigris River in the heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses Iraqi government buildings and embassies—since the Israel–Hamas war began on Oct. 7.

Iran-backed militias in Iraq have claimed responsibility for dozens of attacks that targeted bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria since Hamas launched its surprise cross-border attack on Israel two months ago.

US Troops Face Attacks in Middle East

According to the U.S. military, 78 attacks have been carried out against U.S. facilities in recent weeks, of which 37 were in Iraq and 41 in Syria.

There are roughly 2,500 U.S. troops in Iraq and around 900 more in eastern Syria, on missions against the ISIS terrorist group. In both countries, Iran has militias loyal to Tehran.

In response to recent attacks against American troops, the United States has retaliated with airstrikes three times in Syria since Oct. 17, targeting weapons depots and other facilities linked directly to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and the militias.

The United States also struck multiple sites in Iraq late last month after a militia group for the first time fired short-range ballistic missiles at U.S. forces at al Asad air base.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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