Iraqi PM condemns rockets attack on US embassy in Baghdad amid Gaza war

This marks first attack against US embassy in Baghdad since Israel-Hamas war began on October 7

By Web Desk
December 08, 2023
Partial view of the Green Zone which houses the seat of the Iraqi government as well as the US embassy, in the capital Baghdad. — AFP/File

The US embassy in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone was targeted by salvoes of rockets on Friday morning, the mission said, the latest in a flurry of such attacks since the start of the Israel-Hamas war.

"A multi-rocket attack was launched at US and Coalition forces in the vicinity of Union III and the Baghdad embassy complex" without causing any reported casualties or damage, a US official said.

However, there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The United States leads an international coalition battling fighters in Iraq and neighbouring Syria, and its forces have come under repeated attacks in recent weeks, AFP reported.

The attacks come amid an ongoing war between US ally Israel and the Iran-backed Palestinian resistance group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

In a statement, the US embassy said "two salvoes of rockets" were fired at the mission compound at around 4:15am (0115 GMT).

"Indications are the attacks were initiated by Iran-aligned militias," said a US spokesperson. "We again call on the government of Iraq... to do all in its power to protect diplomatic and coalition partner personnel and facilities.”

"We reiterate that we reserve the right to self-defence and to protect our personnel anywhere in the world," the spokesperson added.

Friday’s rocket attack was the first against the US embassy in Baghdad since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, raising regional tensions and fears of a wider conflict.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani warned attacks on embassies undermine the country's security and stability after the attack.

Sudani said targeting embassies "is unacceptable" and called on the security forces to track down those who fired salvoes of rockets at the US embassy so that they could be brought to justice, in a statement.

There are roughly 2,500 US troops in Iraq and about 900 in Syria as part of efforts to prevent a resurgence of the Islamic State group.

After a seven-day pause in the Israel-Hamas war, pro-Iran groups resumed attacks on US and coalition forces, citing American support for Israel, with most in Iraq claimed by the Islamic Resistance.

Meanwhile, US forces have responded by striking Iran-linked targets in Iraq and Syria.

Washington has reported 78 attacks against its forces in Iraq and Syria since October 17, 10 days after the start of the Israel-Hamas war. According to the Pentagon, the attacks included rocket fire and drone strikes, and have left at least 60 US personnel wounded, the Pentagon says.