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Missile launchers found in Baghdad day after attack on US Embassy

US Embassy building in Baghdad is seen after on 3 January, 2020 in Baghdad, Iraq [Murtadha Sudani/Anadolu Agency]
US Embassy building in Baghdad on 3 January, 2020 in Baghdad, Iraq [Murtadha Sudani/Anadolu Agency]

The Iraqi army reported that its forces found on Tuesday missile launchers in the outskirts of the capital of Baghdad, one day after the attack on the US embassy.

"Following the missile attack on the US embassy in Baghdad, the Operations Command found missile launchers in Al-Za'franiya area in the outskirts of Baghdad," disclosed Baghdad's Operations Command in a statement, according to Anadolu Agency.

The command indicated in its statement that: "One of the launchers was loaded with all its missiles."

Earlier on Tuesday, the prime minister and armed forces commander-in-chief, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, ordered an investigation into the attack on the US embassy.

The Security Media Cell (affiliated with the Ministry of Defence) confirmed in a statement on Tuesday, that missiles had fallen on the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad.

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The Green Zone is located on the banks of the Tigris River in the centre of Baghdad and includes the government headquarters, the parliament building and diplomatic missions' headquarters, as well as the houses of most officials. It has been closed with the outbreak of protests in the capital in October 2019.

This is the fourth attack of its kind since the killings of the Iranian Quds Force commander, Qasem Soleimani, and the deputy chief of Iraq's Popular Mobilisation Committee, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, in a US airstrike near Baghdad International Airport on 3 January.

Five days later, Iran counterattacked by launching ballistic missiles at two military airbases hosting US soldiers, in northern and western Iraq.

Washington accuses the Iraqi Hezbollah brigades, which are funded and trained by Iran, of being behind the missile attacks on the embassy and Iraqi military bases hosting US soldiers.

READ: Iraq in talks to purchase Russia missile defence systems

The brigades did not confirm nor deny these accusations, and after the assassinations of Soleimani and Al-Muhandis, they called on the Iraqi forces to relocate 1,000 meters away from the locations of the US forces, in order to target them.

The US-Iranian military confrontation sparked widespread public and governmental anger in Iraq, amid fears that the country would turn into an open conflict scene between the US and Iran, before the de-escalation of tension in the past few days.

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