Three injured in attack on US embassy in Baghdad

Three injured in attack on US embassy in Baghdad

Three injured in attack on US embassy in Baghdad

Protesters burn property in front of the U.S. embassy compound, in Baghdad, Iraq, Dec. 31, 2019. (AP Photo)

At least three people were injured in a missile attack that struck the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, state-run Anadolu Agency cited an Iraqi police source as saying on Jan. 27.

Unidentified persons launched five Katyusha rockets landed early on Jan. 27 in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Iraq's capital, some of which directly struck the U.S. Embassy which led to the burning of a restaurant inside the embassy compound, according to the security source.

"The shelling that targeted the American Embassy building and its surroundings wounded three people who were evacuated immediately by the American side," the police source told Anadolu Agency in condition of anonymity due to restrictions to speak to media.

The source did not mention the nationality of the injured people nor the severity of their injuries.

"The American forces, in charge of protecting the embassy, have shut all roads leading to the building and imposed strict security measures after the missile attack," the source noted.

Earlier, Iraq's caretaker Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi condemned the attack and ordered to bring those who are responsible for it to justice.

According to a statement, Abdul-Mahdi, warned that "the continuation of this irresponsible behavior may lead to serious repercussions and harm the country's higher interests and its relations with its friends,"

Meanwhile, the U.S. called on Iraq to protect American diplomatic facilities after the U.S. embassy in Baghdad was hit by three rockets.

"We call on the Government of Iraq to fulfill its obligations to protect our diplomatic facilities," a State Department spokesperson said in a statement.    

The attack marked a dangerous escalation in a spree of rocket attacks in recent months that have targeted the embassy or Iraqi military bases where American troops are deployed.     

"Since September there have been over 14 attacks by Iran and Iranian-supported militias on U.S. personnel in Iraq," the State Department spokesperson said.    

"The security situation remains tense and Iranian-backed armed groups remain a threat. So, we remain vigilant."

None of the attacks has been claimed, but Washington has repeatedly blamed Iran-backed military factions in Iraq.     

The attack came two days after thousands of Iraqis gathered in Baghdad calling for U.S. troops to leave the country.

Thousands of supporters of an influential, radical Shiite cleric gathered on Jan. 24 in central Baghdad for a rally to demand that American troops leave the country amid heightened anti-U.S. sentiment after a drone strike ordered by Washington earlier this month killed a top Iranian general in the Iraqi capital.

Since mid-morning on the Muslim day of prayers, loudspeakers blasted "No, no America!" at a central square in the Iraqi capital. A child held up a poster reading, "Death to America. Death to Israel."