BAGDAD – Several rockets have fallen in the night near the U.S. embassy located in the high-security green zone of Baghdad, U.S. military sources report. There are currently no reports of casualties. This is the 19th attack on American interests in Iraq in almost four months.
Also, some AFP journalists have heard loud explosions in the Baghdad Green Zone, home to Iraqi institutions and numerous embassies. The deflagrations set off the alarm sirens of the American Embassy, a diplomatic source said.
Missile attacks against U.S. soldiers, diplomats and installations in Iraq have increased since late October. None of the 19 attacks recorded since October 28 has been claimed, but Washington accuses pro-Iranian armed factions of being behind these hostilities. Tensions between Washington and Tehran, both allies of Baghdad, increased at the end of last year and culminated in the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani on the orders of U.S. President Donald Trump. The Iranians responded with a shower of missiles in an Iraqi base where American soldiers are stationed, injuring about a hundred of them.
The pro-Iranian Iraqi armed factions, since they lost their leader Abu Mehdi al-Mouhandis in the raid against Soleimani, have promised “revenge” against the United States. The Iraqi parliament – where they hold the second block of deputies – has already demanded the expulsion of 5,200 American soldiers from the country. And the factions regularly threaten these troops.
One of Iraq’s most radical pro-Iranian factions, Noujaba, wrote on Twitter on Saturday that “it has decided to start the countdown to (Iraqi) sovereignty and the response to the U.S. occupation forces. “We are closer than you can imagine,” the group wrote again on the photo of an American tank.