Middle East/North Africa

Rocket attack hits Baghdad’s Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports

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A rocket fired into Baghdad’s Green Zone Sunday evening did not result in any casualties but landed less than a mile from the U.S. Embassy, according to media reports.

The incident marks the first such attack since three mortar shells landed in an abandoned lot inside the Green Zone in September, according to The Associated Press. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

The rocket launcher was found by security forces in the neighborhood of Wihda in east Baghdad, according to the AP, citing a security official. Officials briefly closed the roads leading to the Green Zone for security purposes before reopening them.

{mosads}The U.S. military has confirmed an explosion in the Green Zone that caused no American or coalition casualties, but has not confirmed the cause, according to the AP.

The incident comes shortly after the State Department recalled all nonemergency personnel from Iraq, citing unspecified threats of possible attacks from Iran-allied militias.

Tensions between the U.S. and Tehran have escalated in recent months after the U.S. deployed a carrier strike to the Persian Gulf, which national security adviser John Bolton said was in response to unspecified acts of Iranian aggression. Iran also recently announced it would scale back some commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal on the anniversary of President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. would withdraw from the deal.

Earlier this month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cut short a diplomatic trip to Germany to visit Baghdad, telling Iraqi intelligence officials Tehran is threatening U.S. interests in the region.

Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer al-Ghadban said Sunday he has also contacted ExxonMobil over recent evacuations of its personnel from a Basra oil field, saying the evacuation was due to political tensions rather than security concerns, according to the AP.

Tags Donald Trump John Bolton Mike Pompeo
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