By Danny C. | DCPeriodical | 01/27/20
Tensions in the Middle East are showing no signs of subsiding as three rockets struck inside the the grounds of the US Embassy in Iraq on Sunday.
One American injury has been confirmed, although luckily the injuries were minor and the victim is already said to be back on duty.
No party has yet taken responsibility. Nevertheless tensions are increasing.
The State Department did not directly blame Tehran for the rocket strikes in the Iraqi capital, but [a] spokesperson’s statement made reference to Iranian threats in the region and past attacks by Iranian-backed militias on US interests. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.–CNN
Iraq’s Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi has condemned the attacks and has ordered his forces to “deploy, search, and investigate to prevent the recurrence of such attacks, and to arrest those who launched these rockets so that they can be punished.”
The three rocket strikes Sunday were just a few out of a large number of others launched in and around Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, where the US Embassy resides.
Attacks have been continuously launched against the Green Zone since the US air strikes in Iraq that were launched at the beginning of the year, one of which being the strike that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani — the event that heightened tensions to their current state.
The Pentagon said yesterday that 34 US service members suffered “traumatic brain injuries” from the retaliatory Iranian strikes that followed five days later on US bases in Iraq.
Sunday’s strikes came amidst protests in the streets of Baghdad and other Iraqi cities. Two protesters were killed the same day — one in Baghdad and one in Nasiriyah.
More than 500 demonstrators have been killed since the protest movement began in October, with rights groups accusing security forces of using excessive force.
The protesters are demanding the removal of what they consider a corrupt ruling elite and an end to foreign interference in Iraqi politics.–Al Jazeera
In January Iraq’s Parliament voted to remove all foreign troops from their country — including 5,200 US soldiers; a number that seems to be only growing.
On Friday, tens of thousands of Iraqi Shia Muslims marched in protest to the US military presence in their nation, and had planned another for Sunday but cancelled:
Meanwhile, leading Shia leader Moqtada al-Sadr had called for renewed demonstrations against the US in Baghdad and other cities on Sunday but cancelled them with his office giving “avoiding internal strife” as the reason.
After the three missiles hit the embassy Sunday, though no perpetrators had been named, it was being reported that a US response was imminent, but none have taken place of yet. Be that as it may, tensions and the chance of a retaliation are high.