Five rockets have landed in Baghdad’s Green zone, with at least 3 of them directly hitting the US embassy in the Iraqi capital city, according to security sources. There’s no official word yet on casualties or damage.
The missiles hit Baghdad’s heavily-fortified Green Zone, media report, citing security sources one of which said that all five ‘Katyusha rockets’ had landed near the compound, while another put the number of projectiles at three – but described it as a ‘direct hit’.
Incoming#USEmbassy #Baghdad now – 5 reported as of now #Iraq pic.twitter.com/GRasqQkO5b
— Logiko Iko (@IkoAfortiori) January 26, 2020
The unguided volley targeted the US mission late on Sunday. Warning systems at the facility were activated and people were advised to seek shelter, footage from the scene shows.
We are still advised to take cover in Union III, just across the road from the #US embassy in Green Zone #Baghdad. A few rockets allegedly hit nearby.
I didn't hear any explosions as we were in hard cover. pic.twitter.com/pj9U5KPUqi
— Nafiseh Kohnavard (@nafisehkBBC) January 26, 2020
At least one person was wounded, a senior Iraqi official told AFP on condition of anonymity, but it was not immediately clear whether the injured person was an American national or an Iraqi staff member
Later in the day, former Iraqi FM Hoshyar Zebari confirmed that at least one projectile had hit the US embassy, directly damaging its canteen and setting it on fire. Still, the US remains silent on the matter and there has been no confirmation – or denial – of the claims.
The compound of #USEmbassy in #Baghdad received a direct rockets hit by unruly militia. The Embassy restaurant or canteen was damaged and burned. This is a very dangerous game by #PMF uncontrolled factions to galvanize the tense situation. It must stop.
— Hoshyar Zebari (@HoshyarZebari) January 26, 2020
“We call on the Government of Iraq to fulfill its obligations to protect our diplomatic facilities,” a US State Department spokesperson said, confirming they were “aware of reports of rockets landing in the International Zone” but carefully not mentioning the US embassy itself.
The Green Zone has seen a string of similar incidents in recent weeks, with unknown attackers repeatedly – and quite imprecisely – targeting the US embassy with unguided projectiles. Other US facilities across Iraq have sustained rocket fire on several occasions.