Rockets make “direct hit” on US embassy, Baghdad

At least one rocket hit a dining facility or cafeteria at the site. Sirens sounded in the compound directing people to seek shelter.


JANUARY 27, 2020 00:12
Protesters and militia fighters throw stones towards the U.S. Embassy during a protest to condemn air strikes on bases belonging to Hashd al-Shaabi (paramilitary forces), outside the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq January 1, 2020. (photo credit: REUTERS/THAIER AL-SUDANI)

Three rockets struck the US embassy compound in Baghdad on Sunday evening. At least one made a direct hit on a dining facility or cafeteria at the site. Sirens sounded in the embassy compound directing people to seek shelter.

It is the latest attack on the US embassy in Baghdad after weeks of rocket attacks near the embassy and a mass protest in late December.

#Breaking #Update
Senior #US Defence official confirm that Katyusha rocket hit the #Embassy dining facility tonight. Decline comment on injuries but say there were no deaths. First time the embassy has actually been hit in a very long time. #AAM already released statement.

— Nafiseh Kohnavard (@nafisehkBBC) January 26, 2020
Iraqi politicians led by Muqtada al-Sadr and Hadi al-Amiri have called for US forces to leave and Sadr encouraged a “million person” protest Friday to evict the US. Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias have been targeting US forces for months with rocket attacks.

The five katyusha-style rockets are the latest attack on the US embassy and the Green Zone around it. Three rockets hit near the same compound area on January 20.

AFP reported that an attack last Monday even ended with a rocket landing near the deputy-ambassador’s residence. The US has evacuated most diplomatic personnel from the embassy since tensions rose with Iran in May 2019.

The US killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and Kataib Hezbollah leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis on January 3. Prior to that Muhandis was alleged to have ordered a dozen rocket attacks on bases housing US forces in Iraq, including a December 27 attack that killed a US contractor near Kirkuk.The US retaliated on December 29, bombing five Kataib Hezbollah sites.

Previous rocket attacks occurred near the US embassy on January 8, January 5, October 31, 2019 and  also in September and May 2019.
In 2005 a rocket hit the US embassy killing two Americans and wounding five people. The US embassy compound in Baghdad is a massive 104 acres, almost a large as Vatican City and cost almost 1 billion dollars to build. It sits along the Tigris river dwarfing other compounds nearby. It has its own numerous layers of local and professional security.

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