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Rockets targeting US Embassy land inside Baghdad's Green Zone

Rockets targeting US Embassy land inside Baghdad's Green Zone
December 21, 2020

BGHDAD (Reuters) - At least three Katyusha rockets landed in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone in an attack targeting the US 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.

US officials blame Iran-backed militia for regular rocket attacks on US 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 US forces on condition that Iraq's government present a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops.

But a rocket strike on the US Embassy on November 18 was also a clear sign that Iranian-backed militias had decided to resume attacks on US 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.