On Tuesday early morning, one rocket hit near the US embassy in Baghdad, reported the security sources, the first to land in the high-security zone in weeks. The sources said the blast caused no casualties but the blast could be heard across the Iraqi capital and triggered security sirens at the US embassy.
As per reports, the above mentioned rocket was fired from an eastern district of Baghdad which hit an empty building inside the heavily fortified green zone in Baghdad. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. It follows more than two dozen similar attacks against American interests in Iraq since October that the US has blamed on Iran-backed factions among Iraq’s security forces.
The tension between Baghdada and Washington escalated when the US killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a drone strike on Baghdad. However, the US and Iraq are expecting to reset the relationship since Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi took the helm earlier this month, with bilateral talks planned for June.
The negotiations are likely to set a framework for the presence of US troops, which was deployed to Iraq in 2014 to lead a coalition fighting back the Islamic state group. However, the forces are a thorn in the side of Iran and its allies in Iraq, which have insisted them to leave the country.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday that the US “will not be staying either in Iraq or Syria and must withdraw and will certainly be expelled”. In the year, the US-led alliance has already down its 7,500-strong force in Iraq in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.