The US Embassy in Baghdad and Iraq's Balad air base housing American troops came under attack in two separate rocket strikes on Saturday, according to several reports. No one has taken responsibility for the attacks.
In the first attack, two rockets reportedly fell near the United States embassy in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone.
Though Reuters said that only one Katyusha rocket fell inside the Green Zone’s Celebrations Square, near the US embassy, Turkey's state-run news agency Anadolu, claimed that two rockets landed near the embassy.
In the second attack "three rockets were fired at the Balad Airbase housing American troops north of Baghdad", the Daily Mail said.
Of these, Reuters said that two Katyusha rockets fell inside Iraq’s Balad airbase, 80 kilometres north of Baghdad. Two security sources told the news agency that there have been no casualties.
The rocket attack occurred following the death of General Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force and mastermind of its regional security strategy in a US attack. Soleimani and some senior Iraqi militants were killed in an airstrike early Friday near the Baghdad international airport.
The strike has caused regional tensions to soar and tested the US relationship with Iraq.
According to AP, thousands of militiamen and other supporters chanting “America is the Great Satan” marched in a funeral procession Saturday in Baghdad for the Iranian general.
Iran has vowed harsh retaliation, raising fears of all-out war.
All eyes are on Iraq, where America and Iran have competed for influence since the 2003 US-led invasion.
Earlier this week, pro-Iran protesters had stormed the US embassy’s perimeter and hurled rocks in a siege that lasted for nearly two days.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Jan 05, 2020 00:01:17 IST