The Associated Press reports that three Katyusha rockets landed in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone on Sunday, injuring a total of six people in an area that is home to the American embassy.
This isn’t the first time that the Russian-designed missiles have menaced the Green Zone, with one having also hit in May of 2019. According to the Times of Israel, no one was wounded in that incident.
While it’s not clear exactly who bears responsibility for this most recent attack, it comes in the wake of a series of clashes between the United States and Iranian-backed forces.
Tensions heat up
Last week, a mob attempted to storm the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, according to CNBC, and many of those taking part in the seige were seen carrying the flag of the Hezbollah Brigades, a pro-Iranian militia group believed responsible for the December killing of an American contractor. While Iran’s president announced via Twitter that the United States “can’t do anything” about actions his country may choose to take, this claim later proved to be false.
On Friday, a Trump-ordered American airstrike killed General Qassem Soleimani, leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force, according to Fox. The group has been blamed for acts of terrorism in multiple countries as well as the deaths of over 600 U.S. military personnel, Newsweek noted.
In response, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, Majid Takht Ravanchi, declared: “The U.S. has already started a war against Iran, not just an economic war but something beyond that by assassinating one of our top generals.”
Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani promised revenge while appearing with Soleimani’s family on state television, telling them that “everyone will get revenge for the martyr’s blood.”
Rouhani also expressed his anger on Twitter, promising that “the great nation of Iran will take revenge for this heinous crime.”
Trump stands firm
However, President Trump hasn’t been silent either, taking to Twitter to answer his critics and warn Iran of what to expect should additional escalation of hostilities occur.
“Iran is talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets as revenge for our ridding the world of their terrorist leader who had just killed an American, & badly wounded many others, not to mention all of the people he had killed over his lifetime, including recently hundreds of Iranian protesters,” he tweeted.
The president went on: “He was already attacking our Embassy, and preparing for additional hits in other locations. Iran has been nothing but problems for many years.”
The president concluded by stating: “Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have…targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!”