Renewed attacks against US interests in Iraq

In the night three rockets hit the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. In recent days there has been an escalation of violence. The attacks celebrated by pro-Iranian Shiite militias active in the country. Iraqi analyst: the operations are a "show of force," but "have no effect on Washington's presence in Iraq." 


Baghdad (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Three rockets grazed the US embassy in Iraq in the early hours of today. The attack came after yesterday local militiamen launched one of the most important operations in recent months against U.S. interests in the country. They included an attempted drone assault in neighboring Syria, confirming a climate of instability denounced by the Chaldean Patriarch, Card. Louis Raphael Sako. 

The raids are rarely claimed or have a clear matrix; however, they are almost always carried out by pro-Iranian Shiite militias present on the territory. The assaults of the last 24 hours come eight days after a series of air raids by the air force in Syria and Iraq against the guerrillas of the Popular Mobilization Forces (Hashd al-Shaabi), now an integral part of the Iraqi armed forces, with 12 victims among the militiamen. The leadership of Hashad immediately promised "revenge". 

In this climate of tension, three rockets rained down during the night near the US embassy in Baghdad. The C-RAM defense batteries went into action, in an attempt to defuse the attack, which did not reach the diplomatic representation, but fell on an area not far from the green zone of the capital. Yesterday afternoon the air base of Aïn al-Assad, in the western Iraqi desert, which hosts American soldiers, was in the crosshairs. At least 14 missiles fell during the assault claimed by the self-styled group "Brigades of revenge for the death of Al-Mohandis", without victims or wounded. 

Since the beginning of the year there have been at least fifty assaults against US interests, with an escalation in recent days. The base of Aïn al-Assad had already been targeted on July 5 by three rockets and, a few hours later, a drone tried to hit the U.S. Embassy, but it was also shot down by the C-RAM system.

The following day there was a new operation against the airport of Erbil, in the Iraqi Kurdistan, which hosts a base of the international coalition. For Iraqi analyst Ali Beder, interviewed by Afp, these operations are a "show of force", but "have no effect on the U.S. presence in Iraq". He points out that in the country are still deployed about 2,500 U.S. soldiers. The danger is represented by the use of drones, which can evade anti-aircraft defense systems better than missiles.