World, Americas, Middle East

US blames 'Iran-backed' group for Green Zone attack

Rocket attack damaged buildings in US Embassy compound in Baghdad, says US army

Mahmoud Barakat   | 24.12.2020
US blames 'Iran-backed' group for Green Zone attack File Photo - US Embassy building in Baghdad is seen after U.S. urged American citizens to leave Iraq immediately in the aftermath of an airstrike that killed a top Iranian commander in Baghdad, on January 3, 2020 in Baghdad, Iraq. ( Murtadha Sudani - Anadolu Agency )

ANKARA

The US army said a rocket attack on Sunday against Baghdad's fortified Green Zone, where the US Embassy is located, was carried out "almost certainly" by an Iran-backed group.

"The Dec. 20, 2020 rocket attack on the Green Zone in Iraq was almost certainly conducted by an Iranian-backed Rogue Militia Group," Capt. Bill Urban, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) spokesman, said in a late Wednesday statement.

The spokesman said there were "no US injuries or casualties, [but] the attack did damage buildings in the US Embassy compound, and was clearly NOT intended to avoid casualties."

He pointed out that the groups that conduct such attacks are being backed by Iran which "provides both material support and direction."

"The United States will hold Iran accountable for the deaths of any Americans that result from the work of these Iranian-backed Rogue Militia Groups," Urban added. This sentiment had been voiced on Wednesday also by President Donald Trump.

On Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said a group of suspects were arrested over the "terrorist attack."

The Green Zone, which hosts Iraqi government buildings and many foreign embassies, has regularly come under attack since the killing of top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike at Baghdad International Airport in January.

Washington blames Iran-backed Shia militias for rocket attacks on foreign diplomatic missions and the US and foreign forces in Iraq.

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