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‘Katyusha Cells’ Target Baghdad’s Green Zone

‘Katyusha Cells’ Target Baghdad’s Green Zone

Monday, 6 July, 2020 - 07:00
A US Marine carries a sandbag during the reinforcement of the US embassy compound in Baghdad, Jan. 4, 2020. (AP/US Marine Corps/Sgt. Kyle C. Talbot)
Baghdad - Fadhel al-Nashmi

So-called Katyusha cells targeted on Sunday the Green Zone where most government buildings and diplomatic missions, including the US Embassy, are based.


Also, a rocket landed near Baghdad airport overnight but did not explode, security sources said. However, the Iraqi army said early Monday that no rocket had been fired.


The attacks came hours after Washington took security measures to intercept them by installing a Patriot defense system.


Iran-backed groups continue in vain to launch Katyusha rockets on the Green Zone to target the US Embassy there.


"A Katyusha rocket was launched from the Ali Al-Saleh area of Baghdad towards the Green Zone, where it landed next to a house near El Bilad TV," reads a statement from the Iraqi Security Media Cell. The cell says that the rocket "resulted in the injury of a child and damage to the house."


Ali Al-Saleh area is only a few kilometers away from the Green Zone.


"At the same time, our forces were able to thwart another attack and seize a Katyusha rocket and launcher that were targeting the Taji base north of Baghdad," it added.


Deputy speaker Hassan al-Kaabi slammed the US test of the rocket defense system as "provocative" and "unacceptable" as it could put residential areas in danger.


Head of the security and defense parliamentary committee and a member of Sadr's Sairoun parliamentary bloc, Mohammed Rida, called on Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and the Iraqi Joint Operations Command to take swift and appropriate measures to halt such actions.


“The new US measure in testing a missile system was a highly provocative move,” Rida said during a press conference. “Firing a missile system inside embassies is completely unacceptable,” he said, adding, “it is not logical to turn the embassies inside the Green Zone into garrisons.”


While there was no immediate comment from the US Embassy or the Iraqi government, Hisham al-Hashimi, a researcher on militants, said that the air defense system in the embassy in Baghdad isn’t a Patriot.


He tweeted that C-RAM is an integrated short-run system that was installed in Feb. to protect the US Embassy and intercept rockets.


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