Iraqi army: Rocket hits Baghdad's Green Zone; no casualties

The Green Zone is the seat of Iraq’s government and home to several foreign embassies, including the US Embassy. (File/AFP)
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Updated 16 September 2020

Iraqi army: Rocket hits Baghdad's Green Zone; no casualties

  • No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack
  • The building was empty at the time of the attack

BAGHDAD: A Katyusha rocket landed inside the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad on Wednesday, the Iraqi military said, a day after a British Embassy convoy was targeted on a key highway in the city.
There were no casualties and no one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack — the latest in near-daily rocket assaults targeting the Green Zone and Iraqi army bases hosting US troops. The attacks have raised security concerns about armed groups outside of the state’s control.
The Green Zone is the seat of Iraq’s government and home to several foreign embassies, including the US Embassy. Wednesday’s rocket hit near a residential building in the Al-Qadisiya complex but caused no damages.
An Iraqi security official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media, said the building was empty at the time of the attack. The military statement said the rocket was launched from the nearby Amel neighborhood.
Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi has promised to reign in armed groups acting outside of the state’s authority. The attacks surged after Al-Kadhimi traveled to the US last month to conclude strategic talks, putting pressure on his administration.
The British convoy was targeted on a Baghdad highway close to the Umm Al-Tabool Mosque, between the airport and the Green Zone, a strategic road often used by diplomatic missions.
Earlier in the week, two rockets were fired at the Green Zone late on Monday but caused to casualties; one was intercepted by the US embassy’s C-RAM defense system. That attack came after a roadside bomb targeted an convoy of vehicles carrying equipment for Americans earlier in the day on the main highway in Babylon province, south of Baghdad.


Arabs must ‘wake up’ to growing threats to regional identity: Arab League chief

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit holds talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah last year. (File/AFP)
Updated 31 sec ago

Arabs must ‘wake up’ to growing threats to regional identity: Arab League chief

  • The so-called Abraham Accords between Israel, Bahrain, and the UAE were signed under the auspices of Trump at the White House on Sept. 15

CAIRO: The Arab League’s secretary-general has appealed for Arabs to “wake up” to the growing threats to regional identity posed by Iran, Turkey, and Israel.
Ahmed Aboul Gheit warned that any erosion of the league’s role — to promote closer political, economic, cultural, and social relations among member states — may lead to a “handover” of control of the region to other countries.
He pointed out that Iran and Turkey were interfering in the affairs of many Arab states, Ethiopia was imposing its power over Nile waters, and the Palestinian issue was becoming more complicated, all of which was putting pressure on the Arab League and the whole region. And he condemned recent calls for the work of the Arab League to be ended.
“End the Arab League and we hand over the region to Turkey and Iran who will establish the Middle East region, allow Israel in and control the entire region.

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Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said he appreciated Palestinian concerns regarding the agreements signed by the UAE and Bahrain with Israel.

“We Arabs must wake up because there is a threatening pressure on the Arab identity of the region,” he added. Aboul Gheit’s comments came as he spoke to media about his hope for Palestinian “action” following the agreement between Israel and the UAE to establish normal political and economic relations.
He said the historic peace deal, along with a similar US-brokered normalization accord between Israel and Bahrain, had succeeded in irreversible halting of Israeli plans for annexing parts of the West Bank.
He added that he appreciated Palestinian concerns regarding the agreements and accused US President Donald Trump’s administration of having been unfair to the Palestinians. In the wake of the Oslo Accords (between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization), Arab states had started opening offices in Israel, noted Aboul Gheit, but following the uprising they had withdrawn their representatives.
Since the Arab Spring, a number of Arab countries had collapsed or had been weakened under the bullying influences of other regional parties, he said, and internal conditions had led to the emergence of political Islam on an unprecedented scale, leaving a current situation he described as catastrophic.
The so-called Abraham Accords between Israel, Bahrain, and the UAE were signed under the auspices of Trump at the White House on Sept. 15.