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Rockets hit US Embassy compound in Baghdad

Rockets hit US Embassy compound in Baghdad

by JUSTINE COLEMAN | The Hill  |  Published on January 27, 2020

Three rockets reportedly hit the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad on Sunday, minorly injuring one person, a U.S. official told CNN.

A State Department spokesperson told The Hill on Sunday that they “are aware of reports of rockets landing in the International Zone” but did not mention the embassy or whether employees were injured.

“The security situation remains tense and Iranian-backed armed groups remain a threat. So, we remain vigilant,” the spokesperson said, requesting the Iraqi Government get involved to protect “diplomatic facilities.”

Recent months have seen multiple attacks in Baghdad’s Green Zone, where the U.S. embassy and other western countries’ embassies are located. The State Department spokesperson said there have been 14 attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq, conducted by Iran and Iranian-backed militias.

Iraq has been caught in the middle of rising tensions between Iran and the U.S. in recent months. Protests erupted at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad after the U.S. struck an Iranian-backed militia, which it says killed a U.S. contractor in an attack.

The U.S. also killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a strike at Baghdad airport, prompting Iran to promise retaliation and strike multiple Iraqi bases that housed U.S. troops. That attack resulted in the brain injuries of 34 service members, the Pentagon announced Friday.

The State Department spokesperson did not directly blame Sunday’s strike on Iran, and Iran has not taken responsibility for the attack.

Rep. Michael McCaul, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a tweet posted by the committee’s GOP account that he is “closely monitoring” the reports of the rocket attacks on the embassy.

Prime Minister of Iraq Adil Abdul Mahdi denounced the strike, saying Iraqi forces will investigate to stop future attacks and punish the perpetrators.

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