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Missiles hit US embassy zone housing troops in Baghdad

The US has feared a backlash against its mission and bases where its troops are deployed across Iraq following the precision drone strike that killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani on Friday.

Published: 04th January 2020 11:22 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th January 2020 07:53 AM   |  A+A-

Iraqi counter-terrorism forces stand guard in front of the US embassy in the capital Baghdad

Iraqi counter-terrorism forces stand guard in front of the US embassy in the capital Baghdad (Photo| AFP)

By AFP

BAGHDAD: Two mortar rounds hit the Iraqi capital's Green Zone Saturday and two rockets slammed into a base housing US troops, security sources said, a day after a deadly American strike.

The precision drone strike outside the Baghdad airport on Friday killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, top Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and a clutch of other Iranian and Iraqi figures. 

In Baghdad, mortar rounds on Saturday evening hit the Green Zone, the high-security enclave where the US embassy is based, security sources said. 

ALSO READ| US, Israeli flags burn as thousands mourn general Soleimani's death

The Iraqi military said that one projectile hit inside the zone, while another landed close to the enclave.

Sirens rang out at the US compound, sources there told AFP. 

A pair of Katyusha rockets then hit the Balad airbase north of Baghdad, where American troops are based, security sources and the Iraqi military said.

Security sources there reported blaring sirens and said surveillance drones were sent above the base to locate the source of the rockets.

ALSO READ| Fury, tears as thousands mourn Iranian general Qasem Soleimani killed in US attack

The US embassy in Baghdad, as well as the 5,200 American troops stationed across the country, have faced a spate of rocket attacks in recent months that Washington has blamed on Iran and its allies in Iraq. 

One attack last month killed a US contractor working in northern Iraq, prompting retaliatory American airstrikes that killed 25 hardline fighters close to Iran. 

Tensions boiled over on Friday when the US struck Soleimani's convoy as it drove out of the airport and US diplomats and troops across Iraq had been bracing themselves for more rocket attacks.

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