US embassy in Baghdad hit in Katyusha rocket attack

Bloomberg – Five Katyusha rockets were fired at the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad Sunday night, one directly hitting the U.S. Embassy building, Iraq’s security forces reported.

U.S. helicopters were seen evacuating injured people, al-Sumaria News reported, citing an anonymous security official.The State Department released a statement that did not comment on any injuries or deaths. But it noted there have been 14 attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq since September. It also called on Iraq to “fulfill its obligations to protect our diplomatic facilities.”

“The security situation remains tense and Iranian-backed armed groups remain a threat,” the statement read. “So we remain vigilant.”

Attacks against the Green Zone and the U.S. embassy in Baghdad by Iran-linked militia groups have increased in recent months, especially after the U.S. airstrike earlier this month that killed Iran’s top commander Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the head of Iran-backed militia Kataib Hezbollah.

Outgoing Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi condemned the attack, vowing to protect the diplomatic missions in the country.

“These acts may drag the country into a battlefield, especially at a time when we started to implement the decision to withdraw foreign troops from Iraq,” he said in a statement.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.