4 rockets rock Green Zone in Iraq’s Baghdad
Four Katyusha rockets fired Thursday at the heavily fortified Green Zone in the Iraqi capital Baghdad without causing casualties, the Iraqi military said.
The attack took place after midnight when the four rockets landed in the Green Zone, which houses some of the main Iraqi government offices and the U.S. embassy, the media office of the Iraqi Joint Operations command (JOC) said in a statement.
Later on, the Iraqi forces found a rocket launcher in an area near the site of the former military al-Rashid Camp in southeastern Baghdad, the statement said. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack. The military bases housing U.S. troops across Iraq and the U.S. embassy have been frequently targeted by mortar and rocket attacks.
The attack came a week after U.S. and Iraqi officials held a strategic dialogue session via video conference in which the United States pledged to continue reducing its forces in Iraq and confirmed that it does not seek permanent military presence in the country.
The Iraqi-U.S. relations have witnessed a tension since Jan. 3 when a U.S. drone struck a convoy at Baghdad airport, which killed Qassem Soleimani, former commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy chief of Iraq’s paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces.
The U.S. airstrike prompted the Iraqi parliament on Jan. 5 to pass a resolution requiring the government to end the presence of foreign forces in the country. More than 5,000 U.S. troops have been deployed in Iraq to support the Iraqi forces in the battles against the Islamic State militants,