Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – A rocket fire targeted a high security zone in the Iraqi capital on Monday (22/2/2021). The attack, which targets Western diplomatic, military or commercial installations, is the third in the past week.
Iraqi military and security sources said at least two rockets landed within the perimeter of the Green Zone, where the US and other foreign embassies are based.
A security source in the Green Zone said the C-RAM anti-rocket defense system deployed at the US embassy had not been fired because rockets were not projected to land inside the diplomatic compound.
Meanwhile a security source told AFP at least one rocket hit the Iraqi National Security Service headquarters near the US diplomatic mission, damaging several cars parked there.
The US-led coalition that has been deployed in Iraq since 2014 to help local forces fight jihadists also operates a base near the American embassy.
“The coalition reported no damage or injuries,” coalition spokesman Wayne Marotto said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, another rocket fell into a nearby residential area in Harithiya. A resident of the area said that the rocket damaged a multi-storey parking complex just meters from his house.
Neither party has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but the military said it had found a launch pad in Baghdad’s northern district.
The attack came a week after more than a dozen rockets targeted a military compound at Arbil airport in northern Iraq, where US-led coalition forces are based.
Two people were killed, including one foreign contractor based at the airport, and a civilian, who died of his injuries.
On Saturday, another wave of rockets hit Al-Balad air base north of Baghdad, where Iraq is storing most of the F-16s it has bought from the US in recent years.
Security sources said at least one local contractor for Sallyport, the US company that maintains the plane, was injured.
Such attacks are usually claimed by shadowy groups that Iraqi and US officials say is a “smokescreen” for hardline pro-Iran factions in Iraq.
Washington said on Monday that it would hold Iran accountable in the wake of the latest attack. State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States was angry about the recent attacks in Iraq, adding it would “hold Iran accountable for proxy actions that attack America”.
“What we will not do is denounce and risk an escalation that is happening at the hands of Iran and contribute to their efforts to destabilize Iraq even more,” Price told reporters.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi has vowed to stop the rocket attacks, but struggling to hold the groups to account, angered the US.
In October, the US threatened to close its embassy in Baghdad if the attacks did not stop, so the hardliners agreed to an indefinite ceasefire. There have been several intermittent offenses since then, but this past week there has been the most attacks in months.
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