U.S. Central Command said Wednesday that an Iran-backed militia fired 21 rockets at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, last weekend. Photo by Ahmed Jalil/EPA-EFE
Dec. 24 (UPI) -- U.S. Central Command has blamed an Iran-backed rogue militia for a rocket attack last weekend that targeted the international green zone, which is home to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
Capt. Bill Urban, the spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said in a statement said that the Sunday attack "was almost certainly conducted by an Iranian-backed rogue militia."
The rockets were downed by the embassy's C-Ram defense system that intercepts rounds of artillery and mortar fire mid-flight.
No U.S. casualties were reported but the embassy said in a statement that it had received reports of damage to nearby residential areas and possible injuries to Iraqi civilians.
Twenty-one rockets were launched at the green zone, Urban said, adding that the attack damaged buildings in the U.S. Embassy compound.
Urban explained that the group that fired on the embassy was backed by Iran, who provides it with material support and direction and that it acts "on behalf of Iranian interests."
"It is important for the people of Iraq to understand that past attacks by the Iranian-backed rogue militia groups have killed more Iraqi civilians and members of the Iraqi Security Forces than they have killed Americans," Urban said. "The United States will hold Iran accountable for the deaths of any Americans that result from the work of these Iranian-backed rogue militia groups."
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted a picture of three rockets, stating they were intended to be apart of the volley that targeted the embassy but failed to launch.
The attack occurred ahead of the one-year anniversary of a U.S. airstrike on Jan. 3 that killed Qassem Soleimani, who headed Iran's Islamic revolutionary Guard Crops, and Trump said there has been "chatter" of additional attacks targeting Americans in Iraq.
"Some friendly health advice to Iran: if one American is killed, I will hold Iran responsible," he said.
Though the U.S. military rarely announces the movement of its submarines, it said Monday the guided-missile submarine USS Georgia had passed through the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf as a show of force.
The submarine, which can carry up to 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles, was escorted on its trip by two U.S. warships.