BAGHDAD — At least four rockets targeted the United States Embassy in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone on Thursday, two Iraqi security officials said. The region is home to diplomatic missions and the seat of the Iraqi government.
Three of the missiles hit within the confines of the US embassy, officials said. Another hit a school located in a nearby residential complex. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
An Iraqi army statement said a girl and a woman were injured in the attack, without providing further details. The statement said the rockets were launched from the Dora neighborhood in Baghdad.
Witnesses said they heard the embassy’s C-RAM defense system – meant to detect and destroy incoming rockets, artillery and mortar shells – during the attack.
The attack is the latest in a series of rocket and drone attacks that have targeted the US presence in Iraq since the start of the year, following the second anniversary of the US strike that killed General Iranian Qassim Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Last Thursday, a series of attacks targeted American troops in Iraq and Syria. Rockets hit an Iraqi military base housing US troops in western Anbar province and the capital.
Pro-Iranian Shiite factions in Iraq have vowed revenge for Soleimani’s killing and have made an end to the attacks conditional on the full exit of US troops from the country.
The US-led coalition officially ended its combat mission supporting Iraqi forces in the ongoing fight against the Islamic State group last month. Some 2,500 troops will remain as the coalition transitions to an advisory mission to continue supporting Iraqi forces.
US Commander-in-Chief for the Middle East, Marine General Frank McKenzie, warned in an Associated Press interview last month that he expects an increase in attacks on US and Iraqi personnel by Iran-backed militias determined to squeeze out US forces.