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Monday, January 27, 2020, 14:46
Iraqi PM condemns rocket attack on US embassy
By Xinhua
Monday, January 27, 2020, 14:46 By Xinhua

In this Jan 11, 2020 photo, President of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani (right) welcomes Iraq's caretaker prime minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi (center) upon his arrival to Erbil International Airport in Arbil, the capital of the northern Iraqi Kurdish autonomous region. (SAFIN HAMED / AFP)

BAGHDAD - The Iraqi caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on Sunday condemned the rocket attack on the US embassy in the Green Zone in central Baghdad.

The heavily fortified Green Zone has been frequently targeted by insurgents' mortar and rocket attacks. The roughly 10 square km zone is located on the west bank of the Tigris River

An attack occurred once again against a foreign diplomatic mission when Katyusha rockets landed inside the campus of the US embassy, said a statement by Abdul Mahdi on his official Twitter Page.

"We denounce the continuation of these condemned and outlaw acts that weaken the state and undermine its sovereignty," the statement said.

Abdul Mahdi, commander-in-chief of the Iraqi forces, said that he has ordered the Iraqi forces to deploy and look for the attackers, as well as launching an investigation into the incident, in order to arrest those who fired these rockets, according to the statement.

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"The continuation of such irresponsible act, which makes the entire country to bear its consequences and serious repercussions, would lead to damage the country's higher interests and its relations with its friends, which may turn Iraq to a battlefield," the statement added.

Abdul Mahdi also confirmed that his government is "committed to protecting all diplomatic missions and take all necessary measures in accordance with the law."

Abdul Mahdi statement came after an Interior Ministry official told Xinhua that four Katyusha rockets landed in the evening near the US embassy in the heavily fortified Green Zone.

This Jan 17, 2020 photo, shows a view of the Jumhuriyah bridge which runs over the Tigris river in the Iraqi capital Baghdad between Tahrir Square and the high-security Green Zone (background) which hosts government offices and foreign embassies. (AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP)

Later on, a statement by the media office affiliated with the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said that five rockets hit the Green Zone, without giving further details.

The heavily fortified Green Zone has been frequently targeted by insurgents' mortar and rocket attacks. The roughly 10 square km zone is located on the west bank of the Tigris River, which bisects the Iraqi capital.

On Friday, the Iraqi prominent Shi'ite leader Moqtada al-Sadr called for a scheduled withdrawal of US troops from Iraq through peaceful means.

READ MORE: 11 US troops injured in Jan 8 Iran missile attack in Iraq

The Iraqi parliament passed a resolution requiring the government to end the presence of foreign forces in Iraq on Jan 5, two days after a US drone strike on a convoy at Baghdad airport, which killed Qassem Soleimani, former commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy chief of Iraq's paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces.

Over 5,000 US troops have been deployed in Iraq to support the Iraqi forces in the battles against the Islamic State militants, mainly providing training and advising to the Iraqi forces.

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