In the early hours of July 29th, at least two rockets were fired towards the US Embassy in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone.
According to Iraq’s Saberin News, the rockets were fired at the Third al-Tawheed Base in the US embassy, with the base’s air defense system and rocket alarm failing to get activated.
Russia Today, citing its correspondent in Baghdad, also reported that the embassy was targeted with two “Katyusha rockets.”
No group has claimed responsibility for the rocket fire.
The attack comes as Iraq and the US are engaged in talks over what is called a withdrawal of US troops from the Arab country, with US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi declaring that the US mission in Iraq will transition from combat to “advisory” role by the end of the year.
“The delegations decided, following recent technical talks, that the security relationship will fully transition to a training, advising, assisting, and intelligence-sharing role, and that there will be no US forces with a combat role in Iraq by December 31, 2021,” Baghdad and Washington said in a joint statement.
The agreement, which has effectively given a mere new name to the US military mission in Iraq, has enraged Iraqi resistance groups, which have played a significant role in defeating the Daesh terrorist group in Iraq in 2017.
The new attack is likely a signal that the transition towards a “training mission” and not a complete withdrawal is unwanted by the resistance groups, and a full departure of foreign troops is the end goal.
The resistance groups demand the withdrawal of all American forces, especially the air force, over their alleged destabilizing activities as part of a law adopted by the parliament in January 2020 in the aftermath of the US military’s assassination of two key commanders of the fight against Daesh, Iran’s Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).
U.S. diplomats and troops in Iraq and Syria were targeted in three rocket and drone attacks earlier this month, including one in which at least 14 rockets hit an Iraqi air base hosting U.S. forces. Two U.S. service members were wounded.
While there were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attacks – part of a wave targeting U.S. troops or areas where they are based in Iraq and Syria, accusations were immediately pointed towards Iranian-backed militias.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- U.S. And Iraq Agree On Withdrawal By Year’s End, As Peshmerga Forces Received Military Hardware
- Military Situation In Iraq On July 27, 2021 (Map Update)