Explosions Rock US Embassy After Building Hit by 7 Mortars

Explosions Rock US Embassy After Building Hit by 7 Mortars

The U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad sustained minor damage Friday after seven mortars landed in its compound.

No injuries were reported in what Reuters said “appeared to be the largest attack of its kind in recent memory.” An Iraqi security installation within the compound was damaged in the 4 a.m. attack.

Also Friday, U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria were targeted with rockets and drones at three bases in Syria. Two attacks also took place at the Ain al-Asad airbase west of Baghdad, according to an American defense official. No injuries were reported.

Baghdad – U.S. Embassy is under attack

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Overall, it was the most attacks registered against U.S. forces in that region in a single day since mid-October. Since Oct, 17, American installations in Iraq and Syria have been attacked at least 84 times, the defense official said.

The commander of the Iraqi Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada, Abu Alaa al-Walae, said the group, which did not claim responsibility for the attack, rejects “talk about stopping or easing operations as long as Zionist crimes continue in Gaza and the American occupation continues in Iraq,” according to CNN.

The State Department has designated the group as global terrorists.

As the Iraqi government said it would seek to hunt down the attackers, a U.S. Embassy representative said, “We reiterate that we reserve the right to self-defense and to protect our personnel anywhere in the world,” per Reuters.

The U.S. has diplomats in Baghdad as well as 2,500 troops in Iraq with a mission of assisting local security forces and preventing a revival of the Islamic State.

The attacks in Iraq and Syria came as a new report in The New York Times said Iran is planning to increase attacks on American forces in Iraq and Syria while also beefing up the ability of the Houthi rebels in Yemen to attack American and Israeli ships on the Red Sea.

The Times, which cited sources in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards who it did not name, said the goal of the stepped-up attacks by the militia groups it supports is to force Israel to end its attacks against Hamas in Gaza.

“We think Houthis in Yemen will become more of a threat to Israel in the long term than Hamas or even Hezbollah,” Nasser Imani, a political analyst in Tehran said.

“Iran considers them a major player and part of the collective strategy of the resistance axis,” he said.

John Kirby, a national security spokesman for the White House, said escalating attacks by the Houthis are “a risk to the potential widening and deepening of the conflict.”

The Yemen-based Houthis might not be easy to control, one expert warned.

“This is a difficult game to fine-tune for a group like the Houthis who are not just zealots but also have very little to lose,” Ali Vaez, the Iran director of the International Crisis Group said. “There are so many points of tensions. The longer the war goes on, the bigger the risk of tensions getting completely out of control.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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