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Rockets Hit US Embassy in Baghdad

Rockets Hit US Embassy in Baghdad

Monday, 27 January, 2020 - 06:00
Iraqi security forces and protesters stand outside the US embassy in Baghdad, Iraq January 1, 2020. DoD/Lt. Col. Adrian Weale/Handout via REUTERS.
Baghdad - Asharq Al-Awsat
Three rockets slammed into the US embassy in Iraq's capital on Sunday in the first direct hit reported after months of close calls.

“Mortars or rockets have hit our compound,” a US diplomat in Baghdad, who refused to be identified, told Asharq Al-Awast.

One rocket hit an embassy cafeteria at dinner time while two others landed nearby, a security source told Agence France Presse.

A senior Iraqi official told AFP at least one person was wounded, but it was not immediately clear how serious the injuries were and whether the person was an American national or an Iraqi staff member working at the mission.

Reuters said three people were wounded.

The US State Department called on Iraq late Sunday to "fulfil its obligations to protect our diplomatic facilities".

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi and Speaker Mohammed Halbusi both condemned the incident, saying it risked dragging their homeland into war.

Iraq has already been dragged into a worrying tit-for-tat between the United States and Iran over the last month.

A similar attack on a northern Iraqi base killed an American contractor, and the US retaliated with a strike on an Iran-backed faction known as Kataeb Hezbollah.

Less than a week later, a US drone strike killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani outside the Baghdad airport -- prompting Iran to fire ballistic missiles at an Iraqi base where US troops are stationed.

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