US Embassy in Baghdad Hit by Rocket Attacks

  • News sources quoted American military circles as saying no one was hurt.
  • This is the 19th missile attack on the US position in Iraq since last October.
  • Militiamen associated with the Iraqi Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba announced via a Twitter post that a countdown had begun for attacks on US troops in Iraq.

News sources reported several missiles hit near the US Embassy in Baghdad on Sunday. US military circles confirmed the news of the rocket fire on the Green Zone and several rockets near the US Mission Center in Iraq. It is still unclear how many missiles were fired into the Green Zone, and no casualties were reported.

The Green Zone was the most common name for the International Zone of Baghdad. Its official name beginning under the Iraqi Interim Government was the International Zone, though Green Zone remains the most commonly used term.

News sources quoted American military circles as saying no one was hurt. Several explosions occurred in the city. The rocket attacks on Baghdad’s green zone, known as the city’s security service and diplomatic outpost, have intensified since last October. The US Embassy and several foreign countries are also located in the area.

Danger in the Green Zone

Missile attacks at dawn on Sunday indicate increased attacks on the Green Zone.  Aircraft flew over the Green Zone and an alarm sounded.  This is the 19th missile attack on the US position in Iraq since last October.

The United States blames the Iraqi Shiite militia for these attacks, so the prosecution is against the Islamic Republic of Iran. However, militants associated with the Hashid al-Shaabi militia have not yet claimed responsibility for rocket attacks on the Green Zone.

Threatening Twitter Post

The Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), also known as the People’s Mobilization Committee (PMC) and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) is an Iraqi state-sponsored umbrella organization composed of some 40 militias that are mostly Shia Muslim groups, but also include Sunni Muslim, Christian, and Yazidi groups. The popular mobilization units as a group was formed in 2014 and have fought in nearly every major battle against ISIL.

A few hours before rocket attacks on the Green Zone, militiamen associated with the Iraqi Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba announced via a Twitter post that a countdown had begun for attacks on US troops in Iraq. In a message on Twitter, a photograph of an American armored vehicle was published on which it read: “We are closer than you think.”

In its report, the news sources cited support from the Islamic Republic of Iran for the support of the Popular Mobilization Forces, as well as militants associated with the Nobility Movement. The announcement of a missile attack in late December on a US position that killed an American citizen increased tension between the US and Iran. It was after this missile attack that the United States bombarded Iraqi militia positions in Iraq. As a result of airstrikes, and at least two militants were killed.

Earlier in January, the United States resumed tensions between the United States and Iran, launching an attack that killed Commander Qassem Soleimani. Iran’s missile strikes at Erbil and Ain al-Assad military bases also became a reaction of the Islamic Republic to the assassination of Soleimani. The United States has repeatedly held Iran accountable for rocket attacks and missile launches at its positions in Iraq.

The U.S. Department of State called on the Iraqi government to protect U.S. facilities in response to a missile strike at the embassy in Baghdad. A US Department of State statement released on January 12 said that the security situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate and that US forces remain vigilant in the light of “the constant threat of armed groups supported by Iran.”

The statement said that since September 2008, US forces in Iraq have been attacked by Iran-supported militias and called on the Iraqi government to “fulfill its responsibilities in supporting American positions in the country.”

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Doris Mkwaya

I am a journalist, with more than 12 years of experience as a reporter, author, editor, and journalism lecturer." I've worked as a reporter, editor and journalism lecturer, and am very enthusiastic about bringing what I've learned to this site.  

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