It adds to 24 hours of tension in Iraq that coincided with American Independence Day. There were claims the US had deployed a C-RAM system to confront threats to its embassy and other facilities.
This adds to 24 hours of tension in Iraq that coincided with American Independence Day. There were claims the US had deployed a C-RAM system to confront threats to its embassy and other facilities.
On Sunday, rumors that Washington had brought missile-defense systems into Baghdad to be deployed near the embassy led to calls for the US to stop turning the area into an “armed camp.” Iraqi members of parliament, including the deputy speaker, said the US decision was a provocation.
While Iraqi politicians spread rumors about “Patriot missiles” in Baghdad, the actual system apparently is not the Patriot but the smaller C-RAM. Patriots are designed to intercept larger missiles and have been deployed at other bases in Iraq.
IRAQ IS today at a crossroads as pro-Iranian groups push their agents on Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. He has chosen a member of the Badr Organization for a high-level national security position. A week ago, he tried to have the Counter-Terrorism Service detain members of Kataib Hezbollah who were plotting attacks on the US. Instead, they were released and proceeded to burn the American flag and trample images of Kadhimi.
The US repelled a Katyusha rocket attack on the embassy overnight, Rudaw media reported. The overnight rocket attack appeared to take place an hour or two after midnight, Nafiseh Kohnavard of the BBC tweeted. The US is cutting its troop levels in Iraq, said Al-Mayadeen media, which is pro-Iranian. A rocket attack was thwarted by security forces, who claimed they found the rockets prior to firing, Shafaaq media said.
But the Iran-US tensions and rocket attacks – as well as an attack on the US Embassy and America’s assassination of Quds Force leader Qaasem Soleimani in January – led the US to reduce its footprint. Brig.-Gen. William Seely has said Task Force Iraq is changing its mission after having helped train almost 250,000 Iraqis.
It is time to shift the focus, the US says. This comes in the context of the tensions. The US may be reducing its footprint and battening down the hatches in preparation for expected confrontations with the pro-Iranian rogue Shi’ite militias who keep firing rockets.
Video and photos claimed to show a civilian wounded during the rocket fire in Baghdad. It is still not known if the projectiles hit the civilian or if there is more to the story. A request by The Jerusalem Post to the coalition for clarification was directed to the US Embassy, which had not issued a statement as of press time.
Local Iraqi Security Media Cell members put out photos of the rockets that were allegedly found after the attack.
“A Katyusha-type rocket fired from Ali Al-Saleh area in Baghdad towards the green zone, where it fell near a house near my country channel, wounding a child and [causing] home damage,” the Iraqi statement said. “At the same time, our troops were able to thwart another attack in Umm Al-Bones area and also Katyusha rocket control and launch base. This rocket was found to have been directed towards coronavirus camp north of the capital.”
Whether other rockets were intercepted is still unclear after a long night of claims and counterclaims in Baghdad. Photos of 107-mm. rockets were posted online Sunday. Iraqi security forces had found them, and they were being prepared to be fired, the captions said.