Rocket attack on US embassy in Baghdad
WASHINGTON DC (Kurdistan 24) – Two rockets were fired at the US embassy in Baghdad early on Monday evening, Iraq’s security services have reported.
The attack caused no casualties, but minor property damage did occur.
Monday’s assault marked the third time in eight days that US, or Iraqi facilities where Americans are stationed, have been hit.
Last Monday, rockets were fired at Erbil International Airport, where the US-led Coalition against ISIS maintains a base. One contractor was killed. Eight others were injured, along with one US soldier.
On Saturday, another attack occurred, as four rockets were fired at Balad Air Base, north of Baghdad. A US company—Sallyport—is headquartered at the base, and 46 Sallyport contractors help to maintain Iraq’s F-16 fighter aircraft. One contractor was injured in the attack.
Limited US Response
In contrast to the Trump administration, which regularly blamed Iranian proxies—and by extension, Iran—for the assaults, the Biden administration has maintained a stance of studied neutrality.
Following the attack on Erbil, US officials said that they would await the results of the Iraqi investigation. Investigations take time, of course, and they may prove inconclusive. So far, no results have been reported regarding the attack on the Erbil airport.
The US position has drawn criticism from senior Congressmen. They include Sen. Robert Menendez (D, New Jersey), the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Menendez strongly condemned the attack in Erbil and stressed that it “demonstrates the importance of robust security cooperation between the Iraqi Security Forces and those of Iraqi Kurdistan, and I encourage the United States to continue to support security coordination efforts.”
The US “must continue to stand in support of Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Masoud Barzani and encourage Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Khadimi to pursue a full investigation of this attack,” Menendez added.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R, Texas), the lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued a statement noting that the group that claimed responsibility for the attack, Saraya Awliya al-Dam (Guardians of Blood), had ties to Iran.
Following the next attack—Saturday’s assault on Balad Air Base—a State Department Spokesperson told Kurdistan 24 later that day, “We’re aware of unconfirmed reports of a missile attack at Balad base. We are looking in to these reports.”
On Sunday, US Central Command (CENTCOM) responded similarly. “Coalition forces were not affected,” CENTCOM told Kurdistan 24. “This is an Iraqi base and we refer you to the Iraqi Security Media and their investigation into the incident.”
It would appear that the Biden administration is so keen on reviving the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that it is now discounting Iranian-backed acts of aggression.
Last week, Rep. Joe Wilson (R, South Carolina), the senior Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Middle East, North Africa, Global Counterterrorism, criticized the Biden administration’s approach to Iran, including the JCPOA.
Wilson issued a statement cautioning against reviving Obama’s policy toward Iran, which “gave the largest state-sponsor of terrorism $100 billion, which it used to support the brutal regime of Bashar-Al-Assad,” in Syria, “and extremist groups like Hezbollah,” in Lebanon.
“It is disappointing that President Biden failed to learn anything from the last four years,” Wilson concluded. As the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Middle East, North Africa, Global Counterterrorism, I will do everything in my power to reinforce our alliances and to stand for policies based on peace-through-strength.”
Editing by Khrush Najari