Rockets Targeting U.S. Embassy Land Inside Baghdad’s Green Zone, No Casualties Reported

BAGHDAD (REUTERS/Hamodia) -
Protesters and militia fighters, burnt tires outside the U.S. Embassy during a protest to condemn air strikes on bases belonging to paramilitary forces, in Baghdad, Iraq January 1, 2020. (REUTERS/Khalid al-Mousily/File Photo)

At least three Katyusha rockets landed in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone in an attack targeting the U.S. Embassy, two Iraqi security sources said on Sunday.

The Iraqi military said that an “outlaw group” fired rockets at Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone on Sunday.

The rockets hit a residential complex inside the Green Zone, damaging buildings and cars but causing no casualties, a military statement said.

Sirens blared from the embassy compound inside the zone, which houses government buildings and foreign missions.

An anti-rocket system diverted one of the rockets, said one security official whose office is inside the Green Zone.

No casualties were reported, sources said.

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.

An array of militia groups announced in October that they had suspended rocket attacks on U.S. forces on condition that Iraq’s government present a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops.

But a rocket strike on the U.S. Embassy on Nov. 18 was also a clear sign that Iranian-backed militias had decided to resume attacks on U.S. bases, according to Iraqi security officials.

Washington, which is slowly reducing its 5,000 troops in Iraq, threatened to shut its embassy unless the Iraqi government reins in Iran-aligned militias.