- Seven rockets have struck Baghdad, Iraq's capital, on Tuesday night.
- Three of them landed outside the Green Zone, but the four that have landed inside have killed one child and injured at least five civilians, along with two Iraqi security forces personnel.
Iraq (SK) — Seven rockets have struck Baghdad, Iraq's capital, on Tuesday night. Three of them landed outside the Green Zone, but the four that have landed inside have killed one child and injured at least five civilians, along with two Iraqi security forces personnel. That is what Iraq's military has announced in a statement. The rockets dropped close to Iraq's National Security Service, which is 600 meters from the American Embassy, about 2,000 feet, Iraqi security official said. Some of the missiles were intercepted, they added.
They released statements under anonymity, according to the regulation. Although, there were no claims of responsibility so far, the military said the incident would not go without “prosecution and accountability”.
U.S. troops invaded Iraq in 2003 and left in 2011. They returned in 2014 after the Islamic State group overran large parts of Iraq. The attacks frequently target the American Embassy and vehicles carrying equipment for troops, which have led Washington to threaten to close its Baghdad diplomatic mission.
The attack comes after the Pentagon said that it would reduce troop levels in Iraq from 3,300 to 2,500. In mid-October, Iran-backed militia groups, mostly Shiite, said they would temporarily halt attacks targeting the American presence in Iraq. The conditions were that U.S. troops would withdraw from the country in line with a non-binding resolution passed in the Iraqi Parliament in January. The resolution came after the airstrike that, under the direction of Washington, killed Iranian General Ab al-Muhandis and Qassim Soleimani, the chief of Iran’s elite Quds Force, together with the leader of Baghdad’s militias.
U.S. officials have insisted they take place based on a schedule. Most Iraqi government officials agree with a gradual withdrawal. But they face pressure from Iran-aligned groups.
A planned withdrawal has been underway in Iraq for months, with coalition troops leaving some Iraqi bases. The surge has triggered the coalition to begin a planned drawdown in March that was conceived late last year. Assistance has increasingly been limited to high-level capabilities that do not have Iraqi security forces, such as surveillance and air support.