Unconfirmed media reports on Sunday, July 5, indicate that a rocket fired towards Baghdad's Green Zone was intercepted by air defense systems. The incident occurred at approximately 02:18 (local time) and the projectile was reportedly targeting the US Embassy. The eastern entrance of the Green Zone was closed following the attack. The incident may have been planned to coincide with US Independence Day on July 4. Further details regarding the attacks are awaited.
Further attacks are possible in the area in the near term.
The incident comes amid heightened tensions in the capital due to both high-level talks being instigated between Baghdad and Washington in June and a raid by Iraqi security forces on the headquarters of the Shia Iranian-backed militia group Kata'ib Hezbollah (KH) on June 26. KH was responsible for several attacks on US facilities on the lead up to the US drone strike which killed Qassem Soleimani (Former Leader of the IRGC Quds force) and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (deputy commander of the PMF and former leader of KH) on January 3. Since the strike KH have also been responsible for a continuation of attacks on US facilities and show strong condemnation for US forces remaining in Iraq, alongside a strong alliance to Iran; they are commonly referred to as one of Tehran's strongest 'proxies' within Iraq.
Individuals in Baghdad are advised to closely monitor the situation, avoid the affected area, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments. The security environment in Iraq remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas with proper security protocols in place, other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to all travel.
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