Iran-Backed Militias Believe to Be Behind Rocket Launch Fired Near Baghdad’s U.S. Embassy

  • According to the Iraqi military, a rocket was launched into Baghdad, the country’s capital, and fell near the U.S. Embassy, but there were no reported casualties.
  • The rocket penetrated Baghdad’s Green Zone, which is home to numerous diplomatic missions and official buildings.
  • During a surprise visit to Baghdad two weeks ago, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Iraqi leaders that the U.S. would use force if they didn’t keep Iran-backed militias in control.
  • The U.S. has accused these militias of growing in power and, according to Iraqi security forces, “U.S. intelligence showed Iran-backed Shi’ite militias positioning rockets near bases housing U.S. forces.”
  • No group has claimed responsibility for the latest attack.
  • An American State Department official said: “But, we take this incident very seriously. We will hold Iran responsible if any such attacks are conducted by its proxy militia forces or elements of such forces, and will respond to Iran accordingly.”
  • Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have been increasing since the U.S. re-imposed sanctions and pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and Iran threatened to not back off its nuclear program.
  • On Sunday, President Trump tweeted: “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!”

Reference Links

  • Reuters: As U.S.-Iran tension simmers, rocket fired near Iraq’s U.S. Embassy READ
  • Washington Examiner: Rocket fired at US embassy in Iraq the same model used by Iran READ
  • Politico: Rocket attack near U.S. embassy in Baghdad READ

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