Rockets fall inside Baghdad's Green Zone, child killed - military
By Ahmed Rasheed and Amina Ismail BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Four Katyusha rockets landed in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone and security officials said the attack targeted the U.S. embassy, Iraqi police and security sources said on Tuesday. Sirens blared from the embassy inside the zone, which houses government buildings and foreign missions
By Ahmed Rasheed and Amina Ismail
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Four Katyusha rockets landed in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone and security officials said the attack targeted the U.S. embassy, Iraqi police and security sources said on Tuesday.
Sirens blared from the embassy inside the zone, which houses government buildings and foreign missions. One security source said at least four rockets were fired and some of them landed nearby.
A military statement said that seven Katyusha rockets were fired, four that fell inside the Green Zone and three outside, which killed a child and wounded five people.
The military said earlier four rockets were fired from an eastern district of the capital, but did not provide more details.
Footage from the military showed a rocket launcher fixed on the back of a mini-truck which was set on fire.
Two diplomatic sources based inside the Green Zone said they heard an anti-rocket system set up to defend the U.S. embassy. One of the sources said a blast shook the building.
U.S. officials blame Iran-backed militia for regular rocket attacks on U.S. facilities in Iraq, including near the embassy in Baghdad. No known Iran-backed groups have claimed responsibility.
An array of Iran-backed Iraqi militia groups announced in October that they have suspended rocket attacks on U.S. forces on condition that Iraq's government present a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops.
A spokesman for Kataib Hezbollah, one of the most powerful Iran-backed militia groups in Iraq, said the groups were presenting no set deadline, but that if U.S. troops "insisted on staying," they would unleash much more violent attacks.
The announcement on halting rocket attacks was made after 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.
Tuesday's attack could be a sign that Iranian-backed militias have decided to resume attacks on U.S. bases, a move that puts more pressure on Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and his efforts to contain the groups.
(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed, Amina Ismail in Baghdad and Nayera Abdullah in Cairo; Writing by Ahmed Rasheed; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Grant McCool)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.