Iraq says attack on U.S. embassy won't affect relations with Washington

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-27 19:55:25|Editor: huaxia

BAGHDAD, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi Foreign Ministry said on Monday that the overnight rocket attack on the U.S. embassy in central Baghdad will not affect the flourishing level of strategic relations between Baghdad and Washington.

A statement by the ministry expressed Iraq's keenness on bilateral relations and mutual interests with the United States, and confirmed the ministry's categorical rejection, and its condemnation of the attack that targeted the U.S. embassy with Katyusha rockets.

"The Iraqi security authorities have launched an investigation to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice, and in order to prevent the recurrence of such violations, which could lead Iraq to be a battleground for external parties," the statement said.

Late on Sunday, the Iraqi caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi issued a statement on his official Twitter Page, condemning the rocket attack on the U.S. embassy in the Green Zone in central Baghdad.

The statements of Foreign Ministry and Abdul Mahdi came after an Interior Ministry official told Xinhua late on Sunday night that four Katyusha rockets landed near the U.S. embassy in the heavily fortified Green Zone.

Later on, a statement by the media office affiliated with the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said that five rockets hit the Green Zone, without giving further details.

The heavily fortified Green Zone has been frequently targeted by insurgents' mortar and rocket attacks. The roughly 10-square-km zone is located on the west bank of the Tigris River, which bisects the Iraqi capital.

On Friday, the Iraqi prominent Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr called for a scheduled withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq through peaceful means.

The Iraqi parliament passed a resolution requiring the government to end the presence of foreign forces in Iraq on Jan. 5, two days after a U.S. drone strike on a convoy at Baghdad airport, which killed Qassem Soleimani, former commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy chief of Iraq's paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces.

Over 5,000 U.S. troops have been deployed in Iraq to support the Iraqi forces in the battles against the Islamic State militants, mainly providing training and advising to the Iraqi forces.