Iraqi militia group claims responsibility for attack on Green Zone

A man looks at the damage after the Iraqi military said rockets fell inside Baghdad’s Green Zone, Iraq November 18, 2020. (Reuters photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — An Iraqi militia group on Monday claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone.

In a statement, Fatih Khyber Brigade threatened to carry out more attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

On Sunday, two Katyusha rockets hit the heavily fortified Green, hosting foreign embassies, including the U.S. embassy, and government buildings.

Iraq’s military said one rocket was destroyed in the air by the C-RAM defense system and the other landed near the zone’s festivals arena damaging two cars.

Reuters cited a U.S. military official as saying that the C-RAM system brought down one of the rounds and none of them landed on the U.S. embassy.

Earlier this month, the militia group said it would target U.S. forces in Iraq with “painful” strikes.

“The American enemy does not understand the language of dialogue and peace,” it said, adding that the deadline given to the U.S. forces to withdraw from Iraq “is nearing end and the agreement has not been implemented”.

On December 9, the coalition forces announced the end of their combat mission in Iraq ahead of the end of the year.

Iraq’s national security advisor said the Coalition’s combat troops were to withdraw.

In July, U.S. President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi sealed an agreement to formally end the combat mission in Iraq by the end of 2021.

The United States has kept around 2,500 troops in Iraq since 2020.

White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk said during his meetings with Iraqi officials last week that there were “no longer” U.S. forces serving in a combat role in Iraq.

“This transition was made possible because of the tremendous progress achieved by Iraqi Security Forces, including the Peshmerga, in leading the fight against ISIS,” the White House said in a statement.

The White House further said the U.S-led Coalition Forces remaining in Iraq would be present at the invitation of the Iraqi government with a mission limited to advising, assisting and enabling the Iraqis forces to ensure Islamic State (ISIS) can never resurge.

U.S. commander for the Middle East Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie said in an interview with AP on Dec. 9 that the United States would keep the current 2,500 troops in Iraq for the foreseeable future and that it would still provide air support and other military aid for Iraq’s fight against Islamic State (ISIS).

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