Thu, 27 Feb 2020

Five rockets crashed into a riverbank near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on January 26, wounding three people.

Three of the projectiles hit the diplomatic installation, with one striking the embassy's cafeteria, security sources told AFP and Reuters.

The incident on January 26 came amid anti-government protests in the capital, Baghdad, over corruption, foreign interference in Iraqi affairs, and the presence of U.S. troops in the country.

One protester was shot by Iraqi security forces, Reuters reported.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi condemned the rocket attack that targeted the U.S. Embassy.

In a statement, Mahdi confirmed Iraq's commitment to "protecting all diplomatic missions."

The same day, a U.S. State Department spokesperson called on 'the government of Iraq to fulfill its obligations to protect our diplomatic facilities.'

It was the third such attack this month.

On January 21, three Katyusha rockets fell near the U.S. Embassy in the heavily fortified Green Zone. Nobody was injured.

Meanwhile, pro-Iranian demonstrators attacked the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on December 31 to condemn U.S. air strikes two days earlier that killed at least 25 members of an Iran-backed militant group.

Iraqi security forces and guards fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the crowd.

Days after the embassy attack, the United States killed Qasem Soleimani, the longtime head of an elite unit of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) known as the Quds Force, in an air strike outside Baghdad on January 3.

In response, Iran fired ballistic missiles at U.S. forces on Iraqi bases.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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