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Three Rockets Fired at U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, One Person Injured

MV-22 Ospreys drop off Marines with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command 19.2 at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, December 31, 2019. (Department of Defense/Handout via Reuters)

The U.S. embassy in Baghdad was attacked with rocket fire on Sunday, leaving one person injured.

Three rockets struck the embassy, including one that apparently hit a dining area. A U.S. official told CNN the one casualty was a minor injury.

“The security situation remains tense and Iranian-backed armed groups remain a threat. So, we remain vigilant,” a State Department spokesman said. “We call on the Government of Iraq to fulfill its obligations to protect our diplomatic facilities.”

The embassy sits in Baghdad’s Green Zone, which was secured by American forces in 2003 and has since been home to several embassies and the base of many international operations in Iraq. The Green Zone has been attacked with rocket fire numerous times in recent months.

“Violent acts against our diplomatic facilities are simply unacceptable,” commented Representative Michael McCaul, (R., Texas), the lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “We must ensure the safety of American diplomats, troops and other Americans in Iraq.”

Iran-backed militia Kataib Hezbollah led a two-day siege on the U.S. embassy in early January, with members surrounding the embassy and trying to break in. Partly in response to the siege, President Trump ordered the January 2 killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.

Iran retaliated to the killing by firing ballistic missiles on U.S. military positions in Iraq. Pentagon officials say 34 U.S. troops suffered concussions or traumatic brain injuries as a result of the strikes.

Meanwhile, the U.S. and Iran are still jockeying for influence in Iraq and the capital city of Baghdad.

“The Iranian presence here in Baghdad is very extensive,” Fox News reporter Trey Yingst told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “It’s like an octopus’ tentacles, it’s reaching all over.”

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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