BAGHDAD: Three people were wounded in rocket attacks on the Iraqi capital Baghdad’s Green Zone Thursday, with one hitting a school and two smashing into the US embassy grounds, security sources said.
“Three rockets were fired toward the Green Zone,” a high-ranking Iraqi official told AFP on condition of anonymity, adding that two of the wounded were children.
“Two of those fell on the grounds of the American embassy, and the other on a school nearby, injuring a woman, a girl and a young boy.”
Another security source who did not wish to be identified said there were no injuries or damages inside the US embassy compound, which is in the Green Zone, an ultra-secure area that houses foreign embassies and Iraqi government offices.
The US Embassy in Baghdad said in a statement that its compound had been attacked by “terrorists groups attempting to undermine Iraq’s security, sovereignty, and international relations.” The embassy’s C-RAM defense system — supposed to detect and destroy incoming rockets, artillery and mortar shells — was heard during the attack.
“We have long said that these sorts of reprehensible attacks are an assault not just on diplomatic facilities, but on the sovereignty of Iraq itself,” the embassy said.
… that these sorts of reprehensible attacks are an assault not just on diplomatic facilities, but on the sovereignty of Iraq itself. 2/2
— U.S. Embassy Baghdad (@USEmbBaghdad) January 13, 2022
No group has claimed the attack.
The Iraqi government’s Security Media Cell said a number of rockets were fired from the Al-Dawra area in the south of Baghdad.
In recent months, dozens of rocket assaults or drone bomb attacks have targeted American troops and interests in Iraq.
Last Thursday, a series of attacks targeted American troops in Iraq and Syria. Rockets struck an Iraqi military base hosting US troops in western Anbar province and the capital.
Earlier this month, five rockets targeted an air base used by the US-led coalition in western Iraq, without causing any damage.
Attacks intensified in January, coinciding with the second anniversary of the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and his Iraqi lieutenant Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis in a US drone strike in Baghdad on January 3, 2020.
The attacks are rarely claimed, but are routinely pinned on pro-Iran factions.
Pro-Iran Shiite factions in Iraq have vowed revenge for Soleimani’s killing and have conditioned the end of the attacks on the full exit of American troops from the country.
While the US ended its combat mission in Iraq in December, about 2,500 troops remain in a training capacity as part of the coalition against the Daesh group.
At the beginning of November, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhemi escaped unharmed in an unclaimed drone bomb attack which targeted his official residence in the Green Zone.
(AFP and AP)