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8 Dec, 2023 12:30

Rocket fire around US embassy in Baghdad – media

The heavily fortified Green Zone in the Iraqi capital was reportedly targeted by over a dozen projectiles
Rocket fire around US embassy in Baghdad – media

Baghdad’s Green Zone district, which houses a number of government and diplomatic buildings, including the US Embassy, was reportedly targeted by several rockets on Friday, according to media reports, citing security sources. 

An anonymous US military official told AFP that alarms around the facility had gone off and that “impact sounds” could be heard near the embassy and the Union III military base. 

Reuters, citing two security sources, also reported that several explosions were heard near the embassy at around 4am, and that sirens calling on people to take cover had been activated.

A US Embassy spokesperson was quoted by ABC News as saying the attack involved two salvos of rockets which were launched at around 4:15am local time. The official noted that while assessments were still ongoing, there were no reported casualties at the embassy compound.

This was seconded by an Iraqi security official who also told the media on condition of anonymity that there had been 14 Katyusha rockets fired at the Green Zone, some of which struck near the US Embassy’s gates, while others fell into the river. He noted that the attack had caused some material damage but no casualties.

So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but US officials have reportedly called on the government of Iraq “to do all in its power to protect diplomatic and Coalition partner personnel and facilities,” warning that the “we reserve the right to self-defense to protect our personnel.” 

Friday’s attack marks the first time the US Embassy in Iraq has been targeted since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas conflict on October 7. However, the US military has reported 78 attacks against its facilities in Iraq and Syria in recent weeks. Responsibility for many of the attacks has been claimed by Iranian-aligned militia groups.