At least eight rockets targeting the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad landed in the heavily fortified Green Zone, causing some minor damage on the compound on Sunday.
The Iraqi military said an “outlaw group” fired eight rockets. Most of the missiles hit a residential complex and a security checkpoint inside the zone, damaging buildings and cars and wounding one Iraqi soldier, a military statement said.
Sirens blared from the embassy compound inside the zone, which houses government buildings and foreign missions.
An anti-rocket system diverted one of the rockets, said one security official whose office is inside the Green Zone.
The U.S. Embassy condemned the attack and urged all Iraqi political and governmental leaders to take steps to prevent such attacks and to hold accountable those responsible.
“The U.S. Embassy confirms rockets targeting the International Zone resulted in the engagement of Embassy defensive systems. There was some minor damage on the Embassy compound but no injuries or casualties,” it said in a statement.
In a subsequent statement, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there had been at least one Iraqi civilian casualty and wished those hurt a speedy recovery.
Pompeo continued: “As Iraq struggles with Covid-19 and an increasingly dire economic crisis, Iran-backed militias are the most serious impediment to helping Iraq return to peace and prosperity.
“The same militias targeting diplomatic facilities are stealing Iraqi state resources on a massive scale, attacking peaceful protesters and activists, and engaging in sectarian violence,” he said.
U.S. officials blame Iran-backed militia for regular rocket attacks on U.S. facilities in Iraq, including near the embassy in Baghdad.
Militia groups in October that they had suspended rocket attacks on U.S. forces on condition that Iraq’s government present a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops.