Reports of rocket attacks in Baghdad and at a nearby air base seem to indicate that things are heating up in the Middle East.
At least one rocket landed in the Green Zone of the Iraqi capital, near the U.S. Embassy, Reuters reported.
There do not appear to have been any American casualties.
Another projectile landed near the Green Zone, The Times of Israel reported, citing the Iraqi military.
“An Iraqi security source: Two Katyusha rockets landed in the vicinity of the American embassy in Baghdad,” Al-Arabiya reported on Twitter in Arabic.
— العربية عاجل (@AlArabiya_Brk) January 4, 2020
Photographs from the scene show the destruction caused by the rocket artillery.
“First pictures show the aftermath after rockets fell near Iraq’s heavily-fortified Green Zone in the capital Baghdad,” Al-Arabiya English wrote on Twitter. “Sirens immediately rang out at the American compound in the area hosting both diplomats and troops, according to sources.”
Update: First pictures show the aftermath after rockets fell near Iraq’s heavily-fortified Green Zone in the capital Baghdad. Sirens immediately rang out at the American compound in the area hosting both diplomats and troops, according to sources.https://t.co/dwFQ9PD6G5 pic.twitter.com/WlIFyfhbeo
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) January 4, 2020
Reuters reported that two Katyusha rockets also hit Balad air base, an Iraqi Air Force station that hosts U.S. forces and is located about 50 miles north of Baghdad.
The rocket artillery appears to have missed any personnel at the base.
Although it’s unclear at this point who launched the attacks, it’s not hard to imagine that pro-Iranian forces were behind the rockets.
The rockets may have been early response to the American killing of Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani, whose convoy was the target of a Friday morning drone strike.
While Iran has not confirmed how it will react, the country threatened the United States and President Donald Trump for the killing.
Also Saturday, a red flag of war was raised in one of Iran’s holiest cities.
It’s possible these attacks were the spontaneous result of local forces acting outside of Iranian control, but the rockets could have also been launched under the direction of the rogue state.
A clearer picture will likely come into focus as information surrounding these attacks comes out.
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