May 19, 2019 2:43 pm
Updated: May 20, 2019 9:32 am

No casualties after rocket fired into Baghdad’s Green Zone: Iraq military

WATCH ABOVE: U.S. President Donald Trump issued a new threat to Tehran on Sunday, tweeting that a conflict would be the “official end” of Iran, as Saudi Arabia warned it stood ready to respond with “all strength” and said it was up to Iran to avoid war.

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A rocket was fired in Iraqi capital Baghdad‘s heavily-fortified Green Zone, which houses government buildings and foreign embassies, but caused no casualties, the Iraqi military said on Sunday.

A blast was heard in central Baghdad on Sunday night, Reuters witnesses said and two Baghdad-based diplomatic sources also said they heard the blast.

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“A Katyusha rocket fell in the middle of the Green Zone without causing any losses, details to come later,” the military said in a brief statement.

READ MORE: Once again Iraq caught up in U.S.-Iran tension

The Katyusha multiple rocket launcher is an inexpensive type of rocket artillery that can deliver explosives to a target quicker than conventional artillery, but is less accurate.

Police special forces found a rocket launcher in al-Sina’a district in eastern Baghdad and have sealed off the area, a police source told Reuters. An ordinance disposal team from the Baghdad Operations Command was on its way to inspect it, he said.

Police were searching for suspects in the area, he said, adding that the U.S. embassy was not hit by the rocket.

WATCH: Could the United States be heading for war with Iran?

The embassy in Baghdad and the U.S. consulate in the Iraqi Kurdish regional capital Erbil evacuated non-emergency staff this week, out of apparent concern about perceived threats from Iran.

President Donald Trump’s administration has said it sent additional forces to the region to counter what it called credible threats from Iran against U.S. interests, including from militias it supports in Iraq.

READ MORE: U.S. warns commercial airliners flying in the Persian Gulf amid heightened tensions with Iran

 

Iran and the United States have both said they do not want war as tensions between them increase.

The Green Zone was regularly targeted by mortars during the U.S. occupation of Iraq that ended in 2011.

Rockets have occasionally been fired on the Green Zone since then. The latest such incident was in September, when three mortar shells landed inside the Green Zone, causing no casualties.

© 2019 Reuters

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