Rockets hit near US embassy in Iraq

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Rockets hit near US embassy in Iraq

A volley of rockets exploded near the US embassy in Baghdad Sunday, as tensions mount ahead of the anniversary of the US killing top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani on Iraqi soil.

AFP reporters in the capital s east heard at least five booms on Sunday night, followed by whistling sounds. A few moments later, they heard thunderous rapid-fire sounds and saw streams of red flares in the dark sky, indicating the US embassy s C-RAM rocket defence system had been activated.

Iraq s security forces issued a statement saying the attacks caused material damage, but no casualties. A security source told AFP at least three rockets landed near the US embassy in the high-security Green Zone, while two others hit separate residential neighbourhoods.

An Iraqi man living across the street from the US diplomatic mission in a high-security residential compound told AFP that his building was hit.

“Everyone is screaming and crying. My wife is losing it from all the terrifying sounds,” he said, preferring to speak anonymously.

The US embassy and other foreign military and diplomatic sites have been targeted by dozens of rockets and roadside bomb attacks since the autumn of 2019.

The first, on November 17, saw a volley of rockets slam into the US embassy and various parts of the Iraqi capital, killing one young woman. On December 10, two convoys transporting logistical equipment for the US-led coalition were targeted with roadside bombs.

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