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Eight rockets have targeted the US embassy in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, Iraqi officials said. fears of new riots as the anniversary of next month’s assassination of an Iranian general by the United States approaches.
An Iraqi military statement said that “an outlaw group” fired eight rockets attacking the Green Zone on Sunday, wounding an Iraqi security person manning a checkpoint and causing material damage to a residential complex and some cars. The residential complex is usually empty.

The US embassy’s C-RAM defense system, which is used to destroy missiles in the air, was activated to deflect the attack, the embassy said in a statement.

A file photo of the heavily fortified US embassy in Baghdad. (AP)

“The US embassy confirms that the rockets aimed at the International Zone (Green Zone) resulted in the involvement of the embassy’s defensive systems,” the statement said. He said there was some minor damage to the embassy compound.

“We call on all Iraqi political and government leaders to take steps to prevent such attacks and hold those responsible accountable,” the statement said.

Associated Press reporters located across the Tigris River could hear the thunderous sound of the defense system.

The United States withdrew some staff from its embassy in Baghdad earlier this month, temporarily reducing staffing ahead of the first anniversary of the American airstrike that killed Iran’s top general, Qassim Soleimani, outside the Baghdad airport on 3 April. January. US officials said the reduction was due to concerns about a possible retaliatory strike.

Qassem Soleimani was one of Iran's most prominent public officials.
A file photo of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani who was killed in a US attack last year. (AP)

Soleimani’s assassination sparked outrage and prompted the Iraqi parliament to pass a non-binding resolution days later calling for the expulsion of all foreign troops from Iraq.

The frequency of rocket attacks in Iraq has frustrated the Trump administration. Iranian-backed militia groups have been blamed for orchestrating the attacks.

In September, Washington warned Iraq that it will close its embassy in Baghdad if the government does not take decisive action to end rocket attacks and other attacks by Iranian-backed militias against US and allied interests in the country.

The partial withdrawal from the embassy came amid a reduction in US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan announced by the outgoing Trump administration last month. In Iraq, the United States plans to reduce the number of troops from 3,000 to 2,500 in mid-January, before Trump leaves office.


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