Blinken condemns rocket attack against US embassy in Baghdad

Several rockets hit the embassy compound in the city's Green Zone on Friday

The US embassy compound in Baghdad, Iraq
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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in a call with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani on Tuesday, condemned the December 8 attack on the US embassy in Baghdad, the State Department said.

At dawn on Friday, several rockets landed inside the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad where the US embassy is located.

Some of the rockets hit the embassy compound while several others struck the nearby headquarters of the National Security Service, according to Iraqi security officials.

The attacks caused no casualties, they said.

“The secretary condemned the attack on the US embassy in Baghdad as well as the series of attacks on US personnel in Iraq and Syria in recent weeks,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said. “The secretary noted that the attacks are being carried out by militias who are acting with the support of Iran and undermining Iraq’s sovereignty and independence.”

Mr Blinken welcomed Mr Al Sudani’s condemnation of the recent attacks as “acts of terrorism” as well as the Iraqi government’s pledge to investigate and hold perpetrators accountable, the State Department statement said.

It was the first attack directed at the heavily fortified area, which is home to government offices and embassies, since Iran-backed Iraqi militias resumed attacks on US troops after the start of the Israel-Gaza war on October 7.

Mr Al Sudani, who is also the commander-in-chief, ordered an investigation into the security forces responsible for an area from where an attack on the US embassy was launched.

He also decided to replace the presidential regiment with a regiment from the special unit to secure the area.

The US has about 2,500 troops in Iraq and 900 in neighbouring Syria, on a mission it says is to advise and assist local forces to prevent a resurgence of ISIS.

Updated: December 13, 2023, 7:46 AM