Two civilians wounded in rocket attack on Baghdad’s Green Zone

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Two civilians wounded as rocket strikes residential complex near US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraqi officials say.

At least four rockets targeted the United States Embassy in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, wounding two civilians, according to two Iraqi security officials.

Three of the missiles struck within the perimeter of the US Embassy on Thursday, the officials said. Another hit a school located in a nearby residential complex, injuring a woman and a girl. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to the media.

The school was in the al-Qadisiyah residential complex near the diplomatic facility.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

An Iraqi military statement said the rockets had been launched from the Dora neighbourhood of Baghdad.

In a statement, the US Embassy in Baghdad said its compound had been attacked by “terrorist groups attempting to undermine Iraq’s security, sovereignty, and international relations.” The embassy’s C-RAM defence system – supposed to detect and destroy incoming rockets, artillery and mortar shells – was heard during the attack.

The Green Zone hosts most foreign diplomatic missions, including the US Embassy and the premier’s house.

It has been repeatedly targeted by rocket attacks since the killing of Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a US drone attack in January 2020.

Last Thursday, a series of attacks targeted American troops in Iraq and Syria. Rockets struck an Iraqi military base hosting US troops in western Anbar province and the capital.

Washington blames Iran-backed Shia armed groups for rocket attacks on foreign diplomatic missions, the US and foreign troops in Iraq.

The armed groups have vowed revenge for Soleimani’s killing and have conditioned the end of the attacks on the full exit of American troops from the country.

Baghdad and Washington agreed in a fourth and final round of the strategic dialogue on July 26 to withdraw US forces from Iraq by the end of 2021.

Some 2,500 troops will remain as the coalition shifts to an advisory mission to continue supporting Iraqi forces.

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