Several rockets fell inside Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, its Jadriya neighbourhood, close to the near the United Embassy embassy and the Balad airbase housing US troops, the Iraqi military said, adding that there were no deaths.
According to Reuters at least one of the rockets fell near the U.S. embassy in the heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses government buildings and foreign missions. An Iraqi source told the news agency that the attack didn’t result in any casualties.
Four other rockets landed near the southern entrance of Balad Air Base, north of Baghdad, according to the al-Sumaria TV. The results of the attack on the base, which used to host U.S. forces, are yet to be revealed.
There were no immediate reports about casualties, the official said.
The attacks on the US embassy and the Balad Air Force Base has come a day after Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed “severe revenge” after the United States killed General Qassem Soleimani, the chief of Iran’s elite Quds Force, in an airstrike at the Baghdad airport on Friday.
The attack came a few hours after the U.S. forces attacked five bases of Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) in Iraq and Syria in response to repeated attacks by KH against U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq, according to a U.S. military statement.
The U.S. forces targeted three KH bases in Iraq and two in Syria, the statement said, adding that “these locations included weapon storage facilities and command and control locations that KH uses to plan and execute attacks on coalition forces.”
According to a statement by the media office affiliated with the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC), three U.S. airstrikes targeted headquarters of Hashd Shaabi’s 45th Brigade near al-Qaim border town with Syria.
The airstrikes left four Hashd Shaabi members killed, including deputy commander of the 45th Brigade, and some 30 others wounded, the statement said citing initial reports.
The statement gave no further detail but said that more information will be released later.
The attack came two days after a rocket barrage hit K1 military camp, which houses U.S. troops, in Kirkuk province, leaving a U.S. contractor killed and wounding others.
Military bases housing U.S. troops across Iraq and the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad have been frequently targeted by insurgents’ mortar and rocket attacks.
On Dec. 14, the U.S. embassy in Iraq accused in a statement Iran’s proxies of carrying out attacks on Iraqi military bases where U.S. troops are stationed.
Over 5,000 U.S. troops have been deployed in Iraq to support the Iraqi forces in the battles against Islamic State (IS) militants, mainly providing training and advising to the Iraqi forces.
The troops are part of the U.S.-led international coalition that has been conducting air raids against IS targets in both Iraq and Syria.