US President Donald Trump has accused Iran of being behind the recent rocket attack on the highly fortified Green Zone and the US Embassy in Baghdad.
“Our embassy in Baghdad got hit Sunday by several rockets. Three rockets failed to launch. Guess where they were from: IRAN. Now we hear chatter of additional attacks against Americans in Iraq…,” Trump claimed in a tweet on Wednesday night.
Our embassy in Baghdad got hit Sunday by several rockets. Three rockets failed to launch. Guess where they were from: IRAN. Now we hear chatter of additional attacks against Americans in Iraq… pic.twitter.com/0OCL6IFp5M
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2020
Trump’s anti-Iran tweet comes after a similar tweet by the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in which he pinned the blame on the Iran.
Pompeo also claimed that the attack had wounded an unspecified number of Iraqi civilians and that such “destabilizing actions” must cease.
Meanwhile, Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh dismissed Pompeo’s “irresponsible” remarks, saying the accusations are meant to stoke tensions and that Washington’s military presence is the “source of instability” in the region.
“We strongly refute [US] Secretary [of State Mike] Pompeo’s irresponsible anti-Iran accusations, which blatantly aim to create tension,” Khatibzadeh said in a Monday tweet, adding, “Iran rejects any attack on diplomatic missions.”
Late on Sunday, the Iraqi officials announced that at least three Katyusha rockets had landed within Baghdad’s Green Zone.
The rockets landed close to the US diplomatic mission, causing sirens blaring within the compound without any casualties apart from some material damage.
The US Embassy has been targeted several times this year, amid heightened anti-American sentiments in the Arab country in the aftermath of the US assassination of Iran’s anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, and the deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, in Baghdad on January 3.
The US has drawn down staff members at the embassy this month ahead of the first anniversary of the assassination. US officials said the decision stemmed from concerns about a retaliatory strike.