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Rockets hit near base hosting US forces in Baghdad

A U.S. Army Soldier from 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Task Force-Iraq, mans an observation post at Forward Operating Base Union III, Baghdad, Iraq, Dec. 31, 2019. (U.S. Army Photo by Maj. Charlie Dietz, Task Force-Iraq Public Affairs)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Multiple rockets hit a U.S.-led coalition base near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad early on February 16, causing little damage and no injuries, a U.S. military officer said.

Colonel Myles B. Caggins III, a spokesman for the U.S. military operation in Iraq, said the attack occurred just before 3:30 a.m. local time.

Warning sirens blared across the embassy compound, but it was not known where all of the missiles struck or how many were fired. The embassy is next to a coalition military base.

An AFP correspondent reported hearing multiple strong explosions followed by aircraft circling near the Green Zone, the high-security area of the city where diplomatic sites, including the U.S. Embassy, are located.

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So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the shelling, the latest in a series of attacks targeting the Green Zone.

Washington blames Iran-backed militias for a series of rocket attacks on U.S. assets in Iraq.

The militias have vowed revenge following a January 3 U.S. air strike near Baghdad that killed Major General Qasem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force, along with a senior commander of an Iran-backed Iraqi militia and several other people.

In response to Soleimani’s killing, Tehran launched missile strikes on two bases hosting U.S. troops in Iraq. The Pentagon says 109 U.S. service members have been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injuries following the attack on the Ain Al-Asad air base in western Iraq, though no one was killed.

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