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08 Jan 2020 | 03:54 PM UTC

Iraq: Two rockets impact Baghdad's Green Zone January 8, no casualties /update 15

Two rockets fall in Baghdad's Green Zone January 8, with no casualties reported; no claim of responsibility immediately reported

security
transportation
IRQ

Event

Two Katyusha rockets reportedly fell in Baghdad's Green Zone on Wednesday night (local time), January 8. The Iraqi military claimed the rocket impacts caused no casualties. At least one of the rockets fell some 100 m (328 ft) from the US Embassy. While no claim of responsibility was immediately reported, the rocket attack comes days after a targeted US drone strike killed Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani near Baghdad International Airport (BGW).

A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions are to be expected in the affected area of the capital over the coming hours. Further indirect fire (IDF) is possible in and around Baghdad over the coming hours and days.

Context

The US Department of Defense released a statement on January 3 claiming responsibility for an airstrike targeting and killing Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's Quds Force, near Baghdad International Airport (BGW) the same day. According to the statement, Soleimani was "actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region." Notably, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), was also killed in the strike. Tensions remain high in the region.

Advice

Individuals in Baghdad are advised to closely monitor developments, avoid the affected area and related demonstration sites, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.

The security environment in Iraq remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to all travel.