Iraq’s military confirmed Sunday that a rocket was fired into Baghdad’s Green Zone in the first such attack since September 2018, when three mortar shells landed in an abandoned lot inside the heavily fortified government district.
Military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasoul told The Associated Press that the rocket was believed to have been fired from east Baghdad – an area controlled by Iranian-sponsored Shiite militia forces.
The Katyusha rocket exploded near the statue of the Unknown Soldier, less than one mile from the U.S. Embassy. No casualties were reported. Last week, the United States ordered all non-essential staff out of its diplomatic posts in Iraq.
While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, weapons of the same type were seized by Yemeni authorities on an Iranian ship in 2013 and are of a design trafficked by Iran to its proxies across the Middle East. With a range of up to 25 miles, the Katyusha is a weapon of choice for Iranian-sponsored terrorist groups, including Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
In an interview broadcast on Sunday, U.S. President Donald Trump reaffirmed that the United States did not want war with Iran. “I’m not somebody that wants to go into war, because war hurts economies, war kills people most importantly – by far most importantly,” he told Fox News.
But shortly after news broke of the attack, the president warned that the U.S. was ready to defend itself against Iranian aggression. “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran,” he tweeted. “Never threaten the United States again!”
Meanwhile, Britain’s foreign secretary warned Iran not to “underestimate the resolve of the U.S.” Jeremy Hunt told journalists in Geneva that American leaders “are not seeking a conflict, they don’t want a war with Iran, but if American interests are attacked, they will retaliate.
“And that is something that the Iranians need to think about very, very carefully,” Hunt stressed.
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