Rockets fall inside Baghdad's Green Zone, no casualties -police sources

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.

Reuters November 18, 2020 03:11:16 IST
Rockets fall inside Baghdad's Green Zone, no casualties -police sources

Rockets fall inside Baghdads Green Zone no casualties police sources

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 confirmed that four Katyusha rockets fell inside the Green Zone and 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 blasts shook the buildings.

One police source and hospital sources said two Iraqi civilians were wounded in the attack after one rocket landed on a street leading to the Green Zone.

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. [nL8N2H20AY]

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 that have attacked U.S. interests with rockets and roadside bombs.

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 militias.

(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed, Amina Ismail in Baghdad and Nayera Abdullah in Cairo; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Grant McCool)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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