Three rockets struck the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad on Sunday, leaving one person injured, a U.S. official told CNN initial reports indicate. The official said the injury was minor and the individual had since returned to duty.
A State Department spokesperson said Sunday evening that they “are aware of reports of rockets landing in the International Zone,” but did not address the U.S. embassy itself, CNN informed.
“We call on the Government of Iraq to fulfill its obligations to protect our diplomatic facilities,” the spokesperson said.
There have been numerous rocket attacks on Baghdad’s Green Zone, where the embassies of the U.S. and several other western countries are located, and the area surrounding it in recent months.
However, the whole of Iraq is on a heightened state of alert as tensions between the U.S. and Iran have dramatically increased in recent weeks after the US killing of key Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and Iran’s retaliatory missile attack on an Iraqi base housing U.S. troops.
The State Department did not directly blame Tehran for the rocket strikes in the Iraqi capital, but the spokesperson’s statement made reference to Iranian threats in the region and past attacks by Iranian-backed militias on U.S. interests. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
“The security situation remains tense and Iranian-backed armed groups remain a threat. So, we remain vigilant,” the spokesperson said. Since September there have been more than 14 attacks by Iran and Iranian-supported militias on US personnel in Iraq, according to the State Department.
The spokesperson said the State Department would not comment further on the security situation in Baghdad.
Rep. Michael McCaul, the lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs committee, said in a tweet Sunday that he is “closely monitoring reports of a rocket attack targeting the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.”
“Violent acts against our diplomatic facilities are simply unacceptable. We must ensure the safety of American diplomats, troops and other Americans in Iraq,” said McCaul.
Adil Abdul Mahdi, the prime minister of Iraq, condemned the attack and said Iraqi forces have been ordered to “deploy, search, and investigate to prevent the recurrence of such attacks, and to arrest those who launched these rockets so that they can be punished.”