US troops and installations have come under regular attacks due to Washington’s support of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.
Rockets have been fired at the US embassy in Baghdad, according to unconfirmed reports.
Explosions were heard early on Friday morning in the vicinity of the Iraqi capital’s heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses the institution. US troops and installations across the region have come under attack as Washington continues to support Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.
News agencies, quoting unnamed US and Iraqi military officials, report that rockets landed on the outskirts of the district housing government and diplomatic buildings at dawn.
Alarm sirens calling on people to “duck and cover” were activated. According to social media videos verified by Al Jazeera’s verification unit, Sanad, rockets were seen landing near the US embassy.
In one video, sirens are heard amid a series of explosions close to the building. Another shows an area of Baghdad’s diplomatic zone as explosions are heard in the background.
صوت الانفجارات التي استهدفت السفارة الأميركية في المنطقة الخضراء في العاصمة العراقية بغداد قبل قليل pic.twitter.com/2Y008GSjYU
— ألراصد سيّدْ عبدالزهره أَلذَبحْاوُيِ (@Althebhawy) December 8, 2023
The US embassy in Baghdad has not yet commented on the reports. It was not immediately clear whether the embassy’s air defence systems were activated or if there were any injuries.
Iraqi groups that support Palestinians have promised retaliation against Israel and its close ally the US for the deadly war in Gaza.
According to the Pentagon, since the Gaza war erupted on October 7, US forces deployed in Iraq and Syria have been attacked at least 66 times, causing injuries to more than 60 personnel. However, until now, diplomatic missions have been spared.
The US has occasionally retaliated against these attacks and has accused Iran of “actively facilitating” rocket and drone attacks by Iranian-backed proxy groups on its forces.
In November, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin asserted in a statement that Washington “does not seek conflict and has no intention nor desire to engage in further hostilities,” but he added that “these Iranian-backed attacks against US forces are unacceptable and must stop”.
Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Hossein Amirabdollahian has said that Tehran “neither gives orders to the resistance groups across the region, nor stops them from taking decisions in their own countries based on their own interests”.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for any attack on the US embassy on Friday