Tehran 0
20 December 2020

The U.S. embassy in Baghdad confirmed “rockets targeting the International Zone resulted in the engagement of embassy defensive systems”, causing “some minor damage on the embassy compound”. The Iraqi military blamed “an outlawed group” for the incident, which wounded one Iraqi and resulted in “material damage to a residential complex”. The U.S. State Department denounced the attack and said: “As Iraq struggles with COVID-19 and an increasingly dire economic crisis, Iran-backed militias are the most serious impediment to helping Iraq return to peace and prosperity. The same militias targeting diplomatic facilities are stealing Iraqi state resources on a massive scale, attacking peaceful protesters and activists, and engaging in sectarian violence”.  It further urged “all Iraqis to support their government’s efforts to reinforce Iraq’s sovereignty, to bring to justice those responsible for these reprehensible attacks and ensure that all the currently Iran-backed militias are under state control”. Iran’s diplomatic spokesperson subsequently maintained that “targeting diplomatic missions and residential areas is unacceptable”, though he also suggested the timing was “dubious” and rejected Secretary Pompeo’s statement.

Subscribe to Crisis Group’s Email Updates

Receive the best source of conflict analysis right in your inbox.