Two Rockets Fall in Baghdad, No Casualties

BAGHDAD (Reuters) -
Men prepare torches as Iraqi demonstrators gather to mark the first anniversary of the anti-government protests, in Najaf, Iraq, October 1. (Reuters/Alaa Al-Marjani)

Iraq’s military said in a statement on Monday that two Katyusha rockets had fallen late on Sunday in Baghdad’s Jadiriya area, near the heavily fortified Green Zone, without causing any casualties.

One of the rockets landed near the Babylon hotel, which is used by Iraqi travelers and sometimes for government meetings, the military said in the statement.

The Iraqi military blamed “terrorist groups” for the attack and said the rockets were fired from an area in the western part of the capital.

Rockets regularly fly across the Tigris towards the heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses government buildings and foreign missions including the U.S. embassy.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi pledged in a meeting with top diplomats to protect foreign missions and limit the possession of weapons to state forces following a U.S. threat to shut down its embassy in the city.

Washington blames such attacks on Iranian-backed militia groups. Iran has not directly commented on the incidents.

Iraq, often the scene of spillover violence from U.S.-Iran tensions, wants to avoid being drawn into any regional conflict.