Rockets land near the US embassy and base housing coalition troops in Baghdad
In yet another attack on facilities in Iraq housing American personnel, a number of rockets landed early Sunday near the US embassy and an Iraqi military base where members of the US-led anti-Islamic State coalition are stationed.
“The Coalition confirms small rockets impacted the Iraqi base hosting @CJTFOIR troops in the International Zone, February 16 at 3:24 a.m. (Iraq Time),” Coalition Spokesman Col. Myles B. Caggins III said in a social media post, using the term the US military uses to refer to the fortified Green Zone. He also reported that no casualties had been sustained and that an investigation into the incident was ongoing.
Witnesses reported to Kurdistan 24 that they had seen multiple aircraft flying above the city afterward, as is common with such security incidents.
A statement from the Iraqi military communications center, known as the Security Media Cell, said that, out of four Katyusha rockets that had been fired, three had landed inside the Green Zone.
The fourth one, the statement explained, had fallen near a facility belonging to Iranian-backed militias of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) on Palestine Street in the northern part of the capital, severely damaging a vehicle. The statement affirmed that there had been no human casualties.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, as is usually the case after such incidents. However, Washington has, on multiple occasions, accused PMF militias of being behind them. The strike comes just three days after a previous one hit another Iraqi base hosting US forces located outside the disputed city of Kirkuk.
Tit-for-tat escalations soon resulted in PMF members and supporters storming the US embassy in the Baghdad, torching parts of it. Washington responded to this move by assassinating a top Iranian general, Qasim Soleimani, as well as a senior Iraqi PMF commander.
This culminated in the Jan. 8 Iranian missile strike on the Ayn al-Asad airbase that resulted in over 100 American servicemen suffering traumatic brain injuries. US President Donald Trump has repeatedly minimized the impact of the injuries without an explanation satisfactory to multiple US veteran groups.
Since then, there have been other attacks on bases hosting US forces as well as others on or near the US embassy in Baghdad.
On Saturday, a powerful Tehran-backed militia group, the Harakat Hizbollah al-Nujaba, circulated a montaged video that showed edited photos of coffins covered with US flags and placed on the road next to the Baghdad airport where the two top generals were killed.
Source: Kurdistan 24