16 Feb Jon Cartu Reports: Rockets hit near US embassy in Baghdad
Multiple rockets hit near the US embassy in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad early Sunday, an American military source said, according to AFP.
The assault sent warning sirens blaring across the diplomatic compound but it was unclear exactly what was hit and how many rockets made impact, the US source and a Western diplomat based nearby told the news agency.
There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Multiple strong explosions were heard in the region followed by aircraft circling near the Green Zone, the high-security enclave where the US mission is located, according to AFP.
It was the 19th attack since October to target either the embassy or the roughly 5,200 US troops stationed alongside local forces across Iraq.
In the most recent attack, in late January, three out of five rockets that were fired directly hit the US embassy. At least one person was wounded.
The attacks are never claimed but the US has pointed the finger at Iran-backed groups within the Hashed al-Shaabi, a military network officially incorporated into Iraq’s state security forces.
The attacks on the Green Zone come amid heightened tensions between US and Iran.
In early January, the US eliminated Qassem Soleimani, the head of the powerful Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in a drone strike near the Baghdad International Airport.
In retaliation, Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against US military and coalition forces in Iraq.