We are receiving reports that an area near the US embassy in the Iraqi capital, of Baghdad, has come under rocket fire, and several blasts have been heard at the Green Zone, hosting diplomatic compounds and the US-led coalition base.
The explosions reportedly rocked the US-led coalition military base in the city, located just outside the embassy, Reuters reported, citing a US military source. Union III, the coalition base which sits across the street from the diplomatic compound, reportedly was the exact target of the rocket fire.
It is unclear if the apparent attack led to any casualties or damage to the facility. Early reports indicated that at least four blasts struck the area, prompting rocket alarms to be activated. Multiple videos have been circulated online with air raid sirens blaring in the Iraqi capital early Sunday morning local time.
Multiple rockets were fired at a U.S.-led coalition military base in Baghdad’s Green Zone early Sunday morning local time, according to local reports. The number of targets and the extent of the damage were unclear. The United States Embassy is located within the Green Zone, raising the possibility that American diplomats, citizens, and military personnel could be threatened by the missiles. At least four explosions could be heard in the direction of the Green Zone, according to the Washington Post’s Mustafa Salim.
At least four explosions were heard from the direction of Baghdad green zone where @USEmbBaghdad is located. Sirens went on and Jets are flying over the area.— Mustafa Salim (@Mustafa_salimb) February 16, 2020
The US-led coalition has confirmed its base in Iraq was hit after the heavily fortified Green Zone came under rocket fire on Saturday night, with multiple blasts reported in the vicinity of the US Embassy.
The US-led coalition says its base in Baghdad was “impacted” by “small rockets” around 3:24am local time. An investigation into the incident is underway, it added.
The attack did not result in any casualties, Col. Myles Caggins, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Resolve (CJTF-OIR), stated on Twitter, without providing any details.
The Coalition confirms small rockets impacted the Iraqi base hosting @CJTFOIR troops in the International Zone, Feb. 16 at 3:24 a.m. (Iraq Time). No casualties. Investigation ongoing. Follow @OIRSpox & @SecMedCell for updates.— OIR Spokesman Col. Myles B. Caggins III (@OIRSpox) February 16, 2020
The explosions allegedly rocked Union III coalition base which sits just across the street from the diplomatic compound.
It is unclear if the attack caused any damage to the facility.
Early reports indicated that at least four blasts struck the area, prompting rocket alarms to be activated.
Multiple videos have circulated online with air raid sirens blaring in the Iraqi capital early Sunday morning local time.
“Sirens went on and Jets are flying over the area,” Mustafa Salim, a Baghdad-based reporter for the Washington Post, tweeted.
Footage has also emerged online purportedly showing a black pillar of smoke billowing from the neighborhood of Zayouna in eastern Baghdad in the wake of reports that several missiles targeted the Green Zone area.
There have been unconfirmed reports that the smoke was rising near the HQ of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), a state-sponsored umbrella group of over 40 militias.
It’s unclear if the PMF offices have been hit.
The reported attack comes amid heightened tensions in the region that were exacerbated by a recent flare-up between Iran and the US. The showdown that saw Washington assassinating a top Iranian general in a drone strike on January 3 was preceded by an attack that killed a US contractor at K-1 base hosting US troops outside Kirkuk, Iraq on December 27.
The US pinned the blame for the attack on Kataib Hezbollah and bombed out the group’s positions, killing at least 25 fighters. Militia members and locals then organized a siege of the US Embassy in Baghdad, setting checkpoints on fire in an attempt to break into the heavily fortified compound.
The killing of Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, which the White House now says was in retaliation for “an escalating series of attacks in preceding months,” also drove a wedge between Baghdad and Washington, with Iraqi lawmakers subsequently voting to kick US troops out of the country.
While the Iraqi government has yet to follow through on the threat, NATO has vowed to expand its training operations in Iraq, which were brought to a halt following Soleimani’s assassination.