Baghdad, U.S. Embassy struck by Rocket Fire
The U.S Embassy in Baghdad was hit by rocket fire late Sunday, with damage of one hitting a dining facility, injuring one person and causing minor building damage. It is not clear that any of the other four rockets launched in the attack landed inside the embassy compound, but the assault prompted alarm in Washington over how to calibrate the response. For security reasons, neither the Iraqi nor American officials, or the embassy, would discuss locations or other specifics details of the attack.
There has been no claim of responsibility for Sunday’s rocket attack. The military commander of Asaib al-Haq, Jawad Al-Tilaybawi said – a coalition of armed group with links to Iran that opposes America’s presence in Iraq, denied responsibility . “We stress that the recent rocket bombing against the evil embassy in Baghdad is not the action of the Iraqi resistance factions, because we have stressed earlier that the resistance factions will not target the embassies and the diplomatic missions in Iraq” said, the commander of Asaib al-Haq.
Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi of Iraq said in a statement that “We denounce the continuation of these outlawed actions that have the goal of weakening the Iraqi state and violating its sovereignty and the sanctity of diplomatic missions on its soil”.
He further said that “Iraqi forces had been ordered to “search and investigate to prevent such attacks” and to arrest those who launched the rockets”. Mr. Abdul Mahdi also used the statement as a “way to remind the public, which is divided about whether to have United States troops stay in the country, that using force would risk “dangerous consequences and repercussions” that could damage Iraqi interests and “drag Iraq into a war.”
While rocket fire in the Green Zone in Baghdad has been a regular occurrence in recent months, the rockets fired on Sunday and last week were more accurate, landing closer to the embassy, according to eyewitnesses. Often in the past, the rockets have fallen in a nearby river or far from the embassy compound.