Two rockets fired near US embassy in Iraq’s Baghdad: Security source

Two rockets fired near US embassy in Iraq’s Baghdad: Security source

Two rockets were fired early Thursday against Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone which houses the US embassy, without causing any casualties or damage, an Iraqi security source told AFP.

According to the sources, one rocket landed in a Green Zone parking lot and another hit an empty area nearby.
The Green Zone hosts foreign embassies and government buildings and is regularly the target of rockets fired by groups that US and Iraqi officials say are backed by Iran.

The dawn attack came as Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi was flying home from Washington after White House talks in which President Joe Biden announced an end to US combat operations in Iraq.

In recent months, attacks on US targets in Iraq have been nearly daily, with pro-Iran armed elements inside the security apparatus being accused.

But they had died down in the weeks running up to Kadhimi’s Washington visit during which he had faced pressure from hardliners to secure a firm withdrawal date for all remaining US troops.

There had been just one attack since the first week of July, a Saturday drone strike targeting an air base in Iraqi Kurdistan, which also caused no casualties or damage.

According to Iden, US-Iraq relations will enter a new phase by the end of the year, with American soldiers leaving the country’s combat operations.

In the face of ISIS’s revival and Iran’s growing influence in Baghdad, Biden emphasized that the US is “dedicated to our security collaboration,” while Kadhimi reiterated the two nations’ “strategic partnership.”

But, in a shift that comes as the United States pulls out of Afghanistan, the US leader confirmed that the 2,500 US troops still in Iraq won’t be fighting by year-end.

His announcement was welcomed by the Conquest Alliance, the political wing of Iraq’s Hashed-al-Shaabi paramilitary network, which is dominated by pro-Iran groups, but not by hardline factions which fear the change will be purely nominal.

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