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.


No Middle East peace without solving ‘Palestinian problem,’ says Russia

Updated 18 September 2020

No Middle East peace without solving ‘Palestinian problem,’ says Russia

  • Kremlin observes ‘progress’ in the normalization of ties in the region

MOSCOW: Russia said it would be a “mistake” to think of peace in the Middle East without resolving the Palestinian issue.

The Foreign Ministry statement came on Thursday after Israel normalized relations with long-time foes Bahrain and the UAE at the White House on Tuesday.

Russia said it noted “progress” in the normalization of ties between Israel and several Arab countries but said that “the Palestinian problem remains acute.” 

“It would be a mistake to think that without finding a solution to it that it will be possible to secure lasting stabilization in the Middle East.” 

Moscow urged regional and global players to “ramp up coordinated efforts” to solve the issue. 

“Russia is ready for such joint work,” including in the framework of the diplomatic Quartet of Middle East peace negotiators and in close coordination with the Arab League, the Foreign Ministry said. 

US President Donald Trump has said similar US-brokered deals are close between the Jewish state and several other nations. 

Bahrain and the UAE are the first Arab nations to establish relations with Israel since Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. 

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday that only an Israeli withdrawal from its occupied territories could bring peace to the Middle East.