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Eight days after US strikes in Syria and Iraq against pro-Iran forces, attacks against US interests in Iraq are on the rise. The most recent, Thursday morning, targeted the American embassy in Baghdad.
Three rockets targeted the American embassy in Iraq early Thursday (July 8) after a day marked by one of the most important operations in recent months against American interests in the country.
These operations, rarely claimed but very often hailed by pro-Iran in Iraq, seem coordinated and come eight days after American strikes in Syria and Iraq against positions of Hachd al-Chaabi, a powerful pro-Iran coalition now part of the forces. Iraqi regulars. A dozen militiamen were killed in these raids and the Hachd had promised “revenge”.
On the night of Wednesday to Thursday, three rockets fell near the US embassy in Baghdad, the Iraqi army said. The C-RAM defense batteries went into action overnight, AFP journalists found, as the army said the three projectiles did not hit the embassy itself but nearby places in the ultra-bunkerized Green Zone of Baghdad.
Two injured in western Iraq
In addition, an attack on the Iraqi air base of Ain al-Assad, which shelters American soldiers in the desert west of Iraq, occurred at midday. No less than fourteen rockets “fell on the base and in its perimeter. The defense systems were activated,” tweeted the spokesperson for the international anti-jihadist coalition in Iraq, Colonel Wayne Marotto. The attack left two lightly injured, he said.
Soon after, Kurdish forces from Syria who fought the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group claimed to have foiled a drone attack near a major US-led coalition base in eastern Syria, in the Al-Omar oil field area.
The attack in Iraq was claimed by a group posing as the “Al-Mohandis Death Revenge Brigades”, which promised “to force the Americans out of Iraqi territory”. This unknown group is named after the former Hachd No. 2, Abu Mehdi al-Mohandis, killed with the powerful Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in an American raid in January 2020 in Baghdad.
The various factions of the Hashd “have been ordered to increase attacks against the Americans in Iraq,” a source within the coalition, which has become a force in Iraq, a country caught between its two, recently told AFP. great American and Iranian allies, themselves great enemies.
According to the same source, Iranian General Esmaïl Qaani, Soleimani’s successor, was in Baghdad at the beginning of the month to meet in particular with the various pro-Iran factions in the country.
Since the start of the year, around fifty attacks have been carried out against American interests, but they have accelerated in recent days.
Aïn al-Assad had already been targeted Monday by three rockets and, a few hours later, the American embassy was threatened by a drone, shot down by the C-RAM system. On Tuesday evening, an attack using trapped drones was perpetrated against Erbil airport, in Iraqi Kurdistan (north), which also houses an international coalition base.
For Iraqi analyst Ali Beder, interviewed by AFP, these attacks are above all a “show of force”, but “have no effect on the American presence in Iraq”, where some 2,500 American soldiers are still deployed as part of the anti-IS coalition.
The fact remains that the use of drones is a real headache for the coalition because these flying machines can escape the C-RAM defense batteries, installed by the American army to defend its troops.
As a sign that the United States is worried about new drone attacks, it recently announced that it was offering up to $ 3 million for information on attacks targeting its interests in Iraq.