Rocket strike targets the US embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone injuring at least one person
The US Embassy in the Baghdad Green Zone has come under attack from rocket fire, injuring at least one person.
Reports suggest that a rocket struck the compound’s cafeteria, while two others landed nearby. There were conflicting reports of how many were injured, but staffers at the embassy said at least one was injured.
It was not immediately clear how serious the injuries were or the nationality of the person injured. AFP reported that three people were wounded.
US Joint Operations Command released a statement saying that five Katyusha missiles crashed into the riverbank near the building.
An Iraqi security official told the Associated Press that one of the rockets landed inside the embassy walls.
The perpetrators have not been identified.
It comes after Iran launched a series of missile strikes against bases housing US troops in Iraq earlier this month, in response to the killing of Irainian General Qasem Soleimani.
This strike injured 34 troops, although 17 have returned to their duties.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi condemned the rocket attack that targeted the US Embassy. In a statement, he asserted Iraq’s commitment to “protecting all diplomatic missions.”
While the rockets rained down on the Green Zone in Iraq on Sunday evening, protesters were taking to the streets across the country in opposition to the regime.
Security forces fired tear gas and live rounds to disperse the crowds from Baghdad’s Khilani Square, medical and security officials said.
One protester was killed and six wounded after security forces fired live rounds in nearby Wathba Square later in the evening.
At least 28 demonstrators were reported wounded by Iraqi security forces in the first hours of Sunday’s street rallies.
The mass protests started in October over widespread government corruption and a lack of public services and jobs.
They quickly grew into calls for sweeping changes to Iraq’s political system that was imposed after the 2003 US invasion.
Iraqi security forces have responded harshly, with at least 500 protesters killed since the unrest began.
Iraq also has been roiled by US-Iran tensions that threatened a regional war after an American drone strike this month killed top Iranian General Soleimani near Baghdad.
The US attack pushed the Shiite cleric and political leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, to turn his influence towards demanding an American troop withdrawal and holding an anti-US rally.