Three Katyusha Rockets Land Near US Embassy In Baghdad's High Security Zone

Three Katyusha rockets landed near the U.S. embassy in Baghdad on Sunday, in an apparent attack targeting the US facilities in the Iraqi capital. The rockets hit the western part of Baghdad. No human causalities were reported.

The incident took place at a Baghdad neighborhood near the high-security Green Zone where the U.S. embassy is located. The rockets fell in the Mansur district of Baghdad, one of which landed near the Red Crescent Hospital, another near al-Zaitoun Street, and the third outside a private bank along al-Amirat Street, Xinhua reported citing an anonymous source.

The attack resulted in some damage to nearby buildings and civilian cars, according to reports.

Green Zone is Frequently Targeted by Insurgent Mortar and Rocket Attacks

The Green Zone is the most common name for the International Zone of Baghdad. The permanent U.S. embassy is located in the southern part of the Green Zone overlooking the Tigris River. The Green Zone was frequently shelled by insurgents with mortars and rockets, though these attacks caused few casualties. It also houses some main Iraqi government offices and other foreign embassies.

Baghdad Green Zone
Baghdad Green Zone Wikimedia Commons

There are roughly 2,500 U.S. troops in Iraq, helping local forces counter the Islamic State group. President Joe Biden says U.S. forces will end their combat mission in Iraq by the end of this year, but will continue to train and advise the Iraqi military.

The U.S. presence in Iraq has become a major issue since top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and the leader of an Iran-backed Shia Muslim militia were killed in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad last year.

Who is Behind the Sunday's Attack?

No group has claimed responsibility for the Sunday's attack. It comes as authorities conduct a recount of votes cast in an October 10 parliamentary election.

Pro-Iranian parties and armed groups have denounced early results from Iraq's elections as "manipulation" and a "scam".

The Fateh (Conquest) Alliance, the political arm of the Hashed al-Shaabi network of pro-Iranian militias, was previously the second largest bloc in parliament. But now, it suffered a sharp decline in the election.

Hashed leaders have vehemently contested the results. Many of their supporters staged a sit-in on an avenue leading to the Green Zone this month in protest, according to AFP.

The powerful network strongly opposes the U.S. presence in Iraq. Its leaders have repeatedly praised the rocket and drone attacks in recent months that have targeted Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops, without claiming responsibility.