Sunday, three rockets hit the US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. A US official told reporters one person was confirmed injured. It was reported the injury was minor and not life-threatening, and the person had returned to full duty.
When the news broke out with the information Sunday evening, a spokesperson for the State Department stated they were “aware of reports of rockets landing in the International Zone.” At the time, they did not say if the embassy was hit, but it was confirmed as of Monday.
The spokesperson stated, “We call on the Government of Iraq to fulfill its obligations to protect our diplomatic facilities.” As long as these attacks continue to happen, there is no way the US military will ever be able to leave Iraq.
When the spokesperson gave the statement, Tehran was not at the center of the blame but was referred back to the threats made by backed Iranian militias who attack US interests. No immediate claim has been made on who attacked the US embassy.
The spokesperson continued, “The security situation remains tense, and Iranian-backed armed groups remain a threat. So, we remain vigilant.” The State Department stated there were over 14 attacks by backed Iranian militias and Iran on US interests and personnel within Iraq.
Representative Michael McCaul, who is the leading Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, posted a tweet Sunday following the attack. The post stated how he is “closely monitoring reports of a rocket attack targeting the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Violent acts against our diplomatic facilities are simply unacceptable. We must ensure the safety of American diplomats, troops, and other Americans in Iraq.”
The prime minister of Iraq, Adil Abdul Mahdi, condemned the attack on the US Embassy and stated: “Iraqi forces have been ordered to deploy, search, and investigate to prevent the recurrence of such attacks, and to arrest those who launched these rockets so that they can be punished.”
Mahdi added, “The Iraqi government is committed to protecting all diplomatic missions and taking all necessary measures to achieve this.”
In the early part of January, mass protests have taken place at the embassy due to the US airstrikes, which took place at the end of December. It was in retaliation against the Shia militia group, which calls themselves Kataib Hezbollah.
The embassy is located in Baghdad’s Green Zone and is considered a safe place despite the frequent target of attacks. It was built by US forces in 2003 after the Iraq invasion. Other western countries, along with the US located within the embassy as well.
As the tensions still flare between Iran and the US, there is still a heightened state of alert in Iraq. Everyone in the region is on guard 24/7. Friday, the Pentagon released a statement that 34 US service members have received traumatic brain injuries due to the missile attack launched by Iran.
The Pentagon spokesperson, Jonathan Hoffman, explained 17 soldiers returned to active duty after the Iranian attack on the Iraqi base. Nine service members are still in Germany undergoing treatment. Eight have been sent back to the US to follow up with added treatments, and 16 were treated locally.
Traumatic brain injuries do not show up immediately after an attack. The cases were only reported as headaches at the time. Assessments made after the missile attack shows that the injuries were more severe than first described.
Hoffman told reporters Friday, “The goal is to be as transparent, accurate, and to provide the American people and our service members with the best information about the tremendous sacrifices our warfighters make.”
If more injuries occur from the recent missile attacks on the US Embassy, it will play out the same as the attacks on the Iraqi bases. The one service member who was injured will have the same treatment and follow-ups if the injuries are the same.
The US Embassy, which was attacked, was one of the four targets which Soleimani had in his sights. Intelligence gave the information to President Trump, and he ordered US forces to carry out the drone attack, which took out Soleimani. All of these events coincide with one another.
Time will tell if Iran had any part in this recent attack. They claimed to have ceased fire and will not attack the US any further at this time. We all know Iran cannot be trusted, and incidents such as this will only make the tensions worsen between the two nations.