Rocket attack hits near US embassy in Iraq capital

17 February, 2020 12:00 AM printer

BAGHDAD: Multiple rockets hit an Iraqi base hosting American troops near the US embassy early Sunday, the latest in a flurry of attacks against US assets in the country, reports AFP.

“The Coalition confirms small rockets impacted the Iraqi base hosting (coalition) troops in the International Zone... No casualties,” said coalition spokesman Myles Caggins.

That base, known as Union III, is the headquarters for the US-led coalition, deployed in Iraq since 2014 to help local troops fight the Islamic State jihadist group.

Iraq’s military said three Katyusha rockets hit inside the Green Zone, the high-security enclave where the US mission and Union III are located, as well as Iraqi government buildings, United Nations offices and other embassies.

A fourth rocket hit a logistics base in a different neighbourhood operated by the Hashed al-Shaabi, a military network officially incorporated into the Iraqi state, the Iraqi military said.

There was no immediate statement from the Hashed.

Strikes on assets of both the US and Hashed at the same time are unusual, as Washington has blamed hardline elements within the military network for repeated rocket attacks on American installations across Iraq.

Sunday’s was the 19th attack since October to target either the embassy or the roughly 5,200 US troops stationed alongside local forces across Iraq. No group has claimed responsibility for any of the incidents.

In late December, a rocket attack on the northern Iraqi base of K1 left one US contractor dead and unleashed a dramatic series of events.