Rocket Attack Targets U.S. Embassy in Baghdad
In a concerning escalation of violence, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad was targeted by a rocket attack on Sunday. Thankfully, the attack resulted in only minor damage and no casualties. This incident marks the first confirmed attack on the embassy since the start of the Israel-Hamas war.
Situated in the heavily fortified Green Zone, the U.S. Embassy shares the area with Iraqi government buildings and various foreign embassies. The rocket attack on the embassy was followed by further attacks, including drone and multi-rocket strikes on al-Asad air base in Iraq and three troop locations in Syria. Fortunately, no casualties were reported in these subsequent attacks.
It is worth noting that Iran-backed militias have claimed responsibility for numerous attacks on U.S. facilities in both Iraq and Syria since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas conflict. Iraqi security officials revealed that 14 Katyusha rockets were fired during the attack on the embassy, some hitting near the gates while others fell into the nearby river.
The U.S. military has confirmed that there were no casualties or infrastructure damage as a result of the rocket attack. The embassy spokesperson disclosed that the compound experienced two salvos of rockets fired in its direction. As a result, diplomatic and coalition partner personnel and facilities were put at risk.
Prompted by the incident, the government of Iraq has been called upon to enhance its efforts in protecting diplomatic and coalition partner personnel and facilities. In response, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani condemned the attack and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Additional attacks have been reported in both Syria and Iraq, including a drone assault and multi-rocket attacks on different bases. The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella group comprising Iran-backed militias, has claimed responsibility for the al-Asad airbase attack and another attack in Syria.
The U.S. has retaliated against the attacks on American troops by carrying out airstrikes targeting facilities linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and the militias. Currently, there are approximately 2,500 U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and 900 in eastern Syria, where Iran-backed militias are known to operate.
As tensions continue to rise in the region, the situation remains precarious. The international community is closely monitoring the developments amidst concerns of further escalation and potential consequences.