Fresh Rocket Attack Scores Direct Hit On US Embassy In Baghdad
At least three rockets slammed into the US Embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone during the night hours of Sunday, the AFP news agency reported.
In total five Katyusha rockets were launched on the heavily fortified embassy compound, with three reportedly making a direct hit on the embassy campus, and at least one scoring a direct hit on the embassy dining hall. It’s unclear whether there are any casualties, which have not been reported. Iraq’s caretaker prime minister denied that there were any casualties.
Personnel at the compound were given “duck and cover” and “seek shelter” inbound projectiles warning during and following the attack, which is suspected to have been conducted by Iraqi Shia Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).
— Martin Patience (@martinpatience) January 26, 2020
There were initially conflicting reports of the actual extent of the damage, or whether the unguided rockets reached the embassy itself.
At least one Iraqi official said there was a direct hit of one of the missiles on the US embassy, which some reports said ignited a fire in the dining hall; however, US sources did not immediately issue a confirmation or denial.
Iraqi sources have confirmed the attack, but not the US diplomatic officials themselves:
Later Iraq’s security forces said in a statement that five rockets hit the high-security Green Zone with no casualties. It did not mention the US embassy.
BREAKING: Rocket Attack on US Embassy in #Iraq
• Katyusha 🚀 hit Emb. in Baghdad
• 3 rockets inside Embassy (AFP)
• One hit Emb. dining hall (@GebeilyM)
• No deaths, but injuries unclear (BBC)
• Iraq Gov, PM condemn
• First Direct hit at embassy, others missed
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) January 26, 2020
Iraq’s prime minister confirmed 5 rockets were launched and hit inside the Green Zone:
“Five Katyusha rockets hit the Green Zone without causing any casualties,” the Iraqi military communications center said in a statement. The Green Zone is a fortified area in the capital where diplomatic offices, as well as government buildings, are located.
The Iraqi Commander in Chief, caretaker Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi, issued a separate statement shortly after, condemning the act of “aggression,” noting that the missiles fell “inside the US embassy compound.”
Though not the first time the US Embassy in Baghdad has been target of Iran-backed militia rocket fire in the country, the incident comes as tensions and anti-American sentiment are ready to explode.
Over the past days hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, possibly over a million, have demonstrated in the streets demanding all US forces exit.
Sun, 01/26/2020 – 17:10
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