Rocket Fired Toward Baghdad Green Zone, Child Injured

BAGHDAD (Reuters) -
An Iraqi helicopter carries an Iraqi flag during an Iraqi military parade in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, Iraq in 2017. (Reuters/Stringer)

A rocket fired toward Baghdad’s Green Zone, which hosts the U.S. and other embassies, fell just short of the zone, causing damage to a home and injuring a child early on Sunday, the Iraqi military said.

Security forces at the same time stopped another Katyusha rocket from being launched at Taji military air base north of Baghdad, which hosts U.S. troops, a military statement added.

The military gave no further details. U.S. 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.

A police and a medical source confirmed that a child was lightly injured and said it was caused by rocket fragments that landed on a home.

The police source said an antirocket system set up to defend the U.S. Embassy, and which had been tested on Saturday, had shot down a rocket which exploded in mid-air before it could hit the Green Zone.

Iraqi security forces raided a headquarters of the Kataib Hezbollah Iran-backed militia in southern Baghdad last week arresting more than a dozen members of the group on charges of involvement in rocket attacks.

Most of them were released shortly afterwards.

Paramilitary groups backed by Iran have come to dominate parts of Iraq‘s security institutions, economy and political life.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s government is favored by the United States and has indicated it will back up tough talk against the militias with action, but last week’s confusing episode over the arrest of militiamen showed it will come up against tough resistance.