Rocket fire reported in Baghdad near U.S. Embassy



Jan. 4 (UPI) — At least one rocket landed near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad Saturday, Iraqi military sources said.

No casualties have been reported in the strikes, which hit after thousands gathered for a funeral procession to mourn slain Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani on Saturday night.

Multiple sources reported on the strike, some using the term “missile” and some “rocket,” but the number of weapons that have landed was not confirmed and reports varied on the precise location of the strike. Sources were also not immediately able to confirm the source of the strike.

An Iraqi military official told CNN an unknown number of rockets landed in the heavily fortified Green Zone as well as the Balad air base housing U.S. troops.

The U.S. Embassy is situated inside the Green Zone but was not hit, the New York Daily News reported.

Soleimani was killed Thursday in what U.S. President Donald Trump and the Department of Defense characterized as a defensive measure to prevent “imminent and sinister attacks” on the United States.

Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations said the U.S. “has started a military war by an act of terror” with the killing of Soleimani.

President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday that the United States is prepared to retaliate should Iran hit Americans or American assets.



Secretary of State Mike Pomeo also tweeted about the situation Saturday, saying Iraqis “want out from under the Iranian yoke” and pointing to the November burning of an Iranian consulate as evidence.

NATO has temporarily suspended its training mission in Iraq, a spokesperson for the alliance said Saturday.

The alliance had been advising Iraqi defense forces on how to keep the Islamic State, also known as ISIS ISIL and Daesh, from regaining ground in the region.

NATO spokesperson Dylan White cited the “safety of our personnel” in a statement reported by Politico but did not explicitly say why it had decided to suspend the mission.



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