Rocket targeting US embassy in Baghdad intercepted while Iraq condemns Turkish operations against state

A general view shows the US embassy across the Tigris river in Iraq's capital Baghdad on January 3, 2020. The US embassy in Baghdad urged American citizens in Iraq to "depart immediately", for fear of fallout from a US strike that killed top Iranian and Iraqi commanders. (File/AFP)
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Updated 05 July 2020

Rocket targeting US embassy in Baghdad intercepted while Iraq condemns Turkish operations against state

  • There had been similar attacks on the Green Zone against American facilities in Iraq since October
  • Turkey’s operations in Kurdistan and other disputed territories in mid-June were aimed at removing suspected Kurdistan Workers Party

DUBAI: A rocket targeting the US embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone was intercepted by US Air defense systems with no claims of responsibility as of Sunday morning, Al-Arabiya News channel reported.
“The missile that was intercepted by the American embassy in Baghdad fell near a number of sit-in protesters close to the Green Zone area. It landed close to the bridge leading to the Green Zone itself,” Al Arabiya's correspondent in Baghdad Majid Hamid confirmed.
There had been similar attacks on the Green Zone against American facilities in Iraq since October that the US blamed on Iran-backed factions among Iraq’s security forces.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s military operations in northern Iraq were condemned by Ahmed Mulla Talal, the spokesperson for Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, local daily The Baghdad Post reported.
“We strongly reject and condemn these actions that harm the close, long-standing relations between the two friendly nations,"  Talal said in a statement.
Turkey’s operations in Kurdistan and other disputed territories in mid-June were aimed at removing suspected Kurdistan Workers Party targets from the area. The airstrikes launched by Ankara have killed so far five civilians.
Talal accused Turkey for violating Iraqi sovereignty and described the country’s offensive as “detrimental” to “regional peace.”
The spokesperson added that his country had sent two letters to Turkey's ambassador to Iraq, and says Baghdad will have to refer to “international law” to stop Turkey.
“We hold the Turkish side responsible for the legal and moral responsibility for all the human and material losses that occur,” he said.


Canada launches a Lebanon relief fund after Beirut blast

Updated 30 min 39 sec ago

Canada launches a Lebanon relief fund after Beirut blast

  • The money will go to the Humanitarian Coalition, which brings together a dozen Canadian humanitarian organizations on the ground in Lebanon
  • The assistance is part of the Can$5 million aid package announced earlier this week by Ottawa

MONTREAL: The Canadian government announced on Saturday the launch of a Lebanon relief fund, calling on citizens to give generously to victims of the massive explosion that killed more than 150 people and injured 6,000 in Beirut.
“Every dollar donated by individual Canadians between August fourth and 24th will be matched by the government of Canada... up to a maximum of Can$2 million,” or $1.5 million, said International Development Minister Karina Gould at a news conference.
The money will go to the Humanitarian Coalition, which brings together a dozen Canadian humanitarian organizations on the ground in Lebanon, she said.
It will use its expertise to distribute the aid in areas such as water supply, sanitation, food and shelter.
“I encourage Canadians to donate to the Lebanon Matching Fund to help save lives and meet the urgent needs of the affected population,” said the minister, adding it was the best way for citizens to help.
The assistance is part of the Can$5 million aid package announced earlier this week by Ottawa.
A group of Lebanese-Canadian businessmen has announced plans to raise at least $2.5 million to help the disaster-stricken population.
Tuesday’s massive explosion leveled Beirut port and killed at least 158 people.
A fire at the port had ignited a large stock of ammonium nitrate, triggering an explosion that was felt as far away as Cyprus and destroyed entire neighborhoods.
It was widely perceived as a direct consequence of corruption and incompetence, an egregious case of callousness on the part of an already reviled ruling elite.