Iran-backed militias strike US embassy in Baghdad, Middle East military bases


WASHINGTON – Iran-backed militias fired a barrage of rockets at the US Embassy in Baghdad on Friday — as enemy groups also launched strikes on American forces in Iraq and Syria, according to defense officials.

Roughly 14 Katyusha rockets were fired around 4:15 a.m. Friday, of which some landed near the embassy’s gates.

No injuries were reported but the attack caused superficial damage to facilities.

No specific militia group had claimed responsibility for the strike, however, officials believe the perpetrator was an Iran-aligned group, of which there are many in the region.

In a statement, Iraq’s Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani spoke out against the attack, saying that “targeting diplomatic missions is something that cannot be justified.”

U.S. soldiers carry Iraqi and U.S. national flags during a ceremony to retire the flags
Iran-backed militias fired a barrage of rockets at the US Embassy in Baghdad on Friday. REUTERS

The US military is in Iraq with the consent of its government to continue its anti-ISIS mission.

Meanwhile, the Iran-backed Islamic Resistance claimed responsibility for separate attacks Friday on US forces stationed at al-Asaf airbase in western Iraq and Conoco gas field in eastern Syria.

The strikes continue a streak of recurring attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria since the Israel-Hamas conflict broke out in October. Hamas is also backed by Iran.

As of Thursday, there had been about 78 attacks on US forces in the region since Oct. 17 — some of which resulted in minor injuries and traumatic brain injuries, according to Pentagon deputy spokesperson Sabrina Singh

“I would say that as of Dec. 4, it’s still about 66 of our folks who have received non-serious, non-life threatening injuries [in the attacks], all who have returned to work,” she said.

US Embassy across Tigris River
The US Embassy is seen from across the Tigris River in Baghdad, Iraq. AP

The latest strikes came after a day of peace on Thursday, during which Singh said there had been no attacks on US forces in the region over a 24-hour period.

Asked Thursday whether that meant the militias were slowing down their attacks, the defense spokesperson said “it’s really hard” to make that distinction because it was not uncommon to “have like a day or two that will go without any attacks.”

It was immediately unclear whether any US troops were injured in the Friday strikes launched by the Islamic Resistance. In the past, Singh has said it can take several days to get reports from those who experience minor injuries.

There are roughly 2,500 US troops in Iraq and around 900 others in eastern Syria.

Source link

You may also like