Child killed in Baghdad rocket attack

Qassim Abdul-Zahra
·2-min read

Rockets have struck Iraq's capital with four landing inside the heavily fortified Green Zone, Iraq's military says, killing a child and wounding at least five people, signalling an end to an informal truce announced by Iran-backed militias in October.

Two Iraqi security officials said one of the rockets that hit the Green Zone on Tuesday struck close to Iraq's National Security Service, just 600m from the American embassy.

Some of the rockets were intercepted by the C-RAM air defence system installed by the US earlier this year, they said.

Iraq's military said three rockets landed outside the Green Zone, one hitting close to Baghdad Medical City hospital, one at the gate of a public park, and a third exploded in the air.

One child was killed and five civilians were wounded, the military statement said.

Officials said two Iraqi security forces personnel were also wounded inside the Green Zone. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The military said the incident would not go without "prosecution and accountability".

US troops invaded Iraq in 2003 and left in 2011 but returned in 2014 after the Islamic State group overran large parts of Iraq.

The attack came after a recent announcement by the Pentagon that it would reduce troop levels in Iraq from 3000 to 2500.

In mid-October, Iran-backed, mostly Shi'Ite, militia groups said they would temporarily halt attacks targeting the American presence in Iraq, including the embassy.

That came with the condition that US-led coalition troops withdraw from the country in line with a non-binding resolution passed in the Iraqi Parliament in January.

The resolution followed the Washington-directed air strike that killed top Iranian General Qassim Soleimani and powerful Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis outside Baghdad airport.

US officials, supportive of withdrawals in principle, have insisted they take place based on a scheduled timeline.