Three mortars land inside Baghdad’s green zone - Iraqi military statement

Three mortars have landed inside Baghdad's heavily fortified green zone. (Shutterstock)
Updated 07 September 2018
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Three mortars land inside Baghdad’s green zone - Iraqi military statement

  • The mortars landed on an “abandoned lot,” resulting in “no casualties or physical damage,” the statement said
  • No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack

BAGHDAD: Three mortar shells landed inside Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone just after midnight local time on Friday, the Iraqi military said in a statement.
The mortars landed on an “abandoned lot,” resulting in “no casualties or physical damage,” the statement said.
A security source inside the Green Zone said the mortars landed near the Egyptian embassy.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes after days of intensifying protests in Iraq’s southern oil hub city of Basra.
Hundreds of protesters, angry over the neglect of their city’s collapsing infrastructure, took to the streets for a fourth day on Thursday, setting fire to political party offices and government buildings.
The mortar attack is the first such one in several years on the Green Zone, which houses parliament, government buildings and many foreign embassies.
In May 2016, three mortars landed near the Green Zone. Anti-corruption protesters, led by populist Shiite cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr, breached the Green Zone twice that year, storming parliament and the cabinet office.
Sadr is now vying to form Iraq’s ruling coalition in an alliance with incumbent Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, his electoral bloc having come first in May’s national election.
The Green Zone was regularly targeted by mortars during the US occupation of Iraq that ended in 2011.


US terror survey blames Iran for 'fomenting violence' in Middle East

Updated 19 September 2018
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US terror survey blames Iran for 'fomenting violence' in Middle East

  • The US has once again named Iran as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism
  • The report said Iranian fighters and Iran-backed militias, like Lebanon's Hezbollah, had emerged emboldened

WASHINGTON: The US has once again named Iran as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, accusing it of intensifying numerous conflicts and trying to undermine governments throughout the Middle East.
The State Department's annual survey of global terrorism released on Wednesday said Iran and its proxies are responsible for fomenting violence in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. The report said Iranian fighters and Iran-backed militias, like Lebanon's Hezbollah, had emerged emboldened from the war in Syria and with valuable battlefield experience they seek to leverage elsewhere.

"Iran remains the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism and is responsible for intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining US interests in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Bahrain, Afghanistan, and Lebanon," he said.
All three -- Daesh, Al-Qaeda and Iran -- "have both the capability and intent to strike the United States and our allies," State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism Nathan Sales said.
The report indicated a general increase in global cooperation to fight terrorism, including tracking and blocking financial flows to the groups.
But this remains a challenge, Sales noted.
"You have got to stop the flow of money to these organizations."
"You have got to stop terrorist travel" as well, he added, pointing to the spread of airport detection systems like biometric face identification as a potent tool.
In addition, the survey reported a 24 percent decrease in attacks around the world between 2016 and 2017. That was due mainly to a sharp decline in the number of attacks in Iraq, where the Daesh group has been largely displaced.