International

Multiple rockets hit U.S. coalition base in Baghdad

The United States of America Flag, vector illustration.

The United States of America Flag, vector illustration.  

The assault sent warning sirens blaring across the high-security diplomatic compound but it was unclear exactly what was hit and how many rockets made impact, the source told AFP.

Multiple rockets hit an Iraqi base hosting American troops near the U.S. embassy early Sunday, the latest in a flurry of attacks against U.S. assets in the country.

“The Coalition confirms small rockets impacted the Iraqi base hosting (coalition) troops in the International Zone... No casualties,” said coalition spokesman Myles Caggins. An Iraqi military statement said three Katyusha rockets had hit the fortified Green Zone which hosts the U.S. Embassy, other foreign missions and Iraqi government buildings. A fourth rocket hit a logistics base in a different neighbourhood operated by the Hashed al-Shaabi, a military network officially incorporated into the Iraqi state, the Iraqi military said.

There was no immediate statement from the Hashed.

19th attack

Strikes on assets of both the U.S. and Hashed at the same time are unusual, as Washington has blamed hardline elements within the military network for repeated rocket attacks on American installations across Iraq.

In this file photo, Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, center, attends a meeting in Tehran, Iran.

In this file photo, Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, center, attends a meeting in Tehran, Iran.   | Photo Credit: AP

Sunday’s was the 19th attack since October to target either the Embassy or the roughly 5,200 American troops stationed alongside local forces across Iraq. No group has claimed responsibility for any of the incidents. In December, a rocket attack on the northern Iraqi base of K1 left one U.S. contractor dead and unleashed a dramatic series of events.

Washington responded with retaliatory strikes against Kataeb Hezbollah, a hardline Hashed faction in western Iraq. Days later, an American drone strike in Baghdad killed top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani and his right-hand man, Hashed deputy chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Hashed factions have vowed revenge for the pair’s death but said they would prioritise a political objective first: the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.

 

 

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 11:02:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/rocket-attack-hits-near-us-embassy-in-iraq-capital-us-military-source/article30834245.ece

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