Rockets fired near US embassy in Baghdad

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Jul 29, 2021, 04:52 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Others )

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Attacks on US interests in Iraq has been a regular affair in recent months.  These attacks have been blamed on pro-Iran armed groups within Iraq's security apparatus

Two rockets were fired at Baghdad's fortified Green Zone on Thursday. AFP quoted security sources to say that there was not any casualty or damage. The Green Zone houses US embassy. Iraqi interior ministry said that one rocket hit the ground near the Al-Rahman Mosque in the capital's Mansur district, which borders the Green Zone

The attack took place at dawn when Prime Minister  Mustafa al-Kadhemi was flying home from Washington after White House talks. During his visit, US President Joe Biden announced end to US combay operations in Iraq.

In recent months, attacks on US interests in Baghdad has been a daily affair. These attacks have been blamed on pro-Iran armed groups within Iraq's security apparatus.

But the attacks had died down in the weeks running up to Kadhemi's Washington visit during which he had faced pressure from hardliners to secure a firm withdrawal date for all remaining US troops.

There had been just one attack since the first week of July, a Saturday drone strike targeting an airbase in Iraqi Kurdistan, which also caused no casualties or damage.

Biden said US relations with Iraq would enter a new phase with American troops exiting combat operations in the country by year-end.

Amid the threat of resurgence of the Islamic State group and Iran's powerful influence in Baghdad, Biden stressed that Washington remains "committed to our security cooperation" while Kadhemi reaffirmed the two countries' "strategic partnership".

But, in a shift that comes as the United States pulls out of Afghanistan, the US leader confirmed that the 2,500 US troops still in Iraq won't be fighting by year-end.

His announcement was welcomed by the Conquest Alliance, the political wing of Iraq's Hashed-al-Shaabi paramilitary network, which is dominated by pro-Iran groups, but not by hardline factions which fear the change will be purely nominal.

(With inputs from agencies)

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