Activists launched three rockets on Saturday evening at the US embassy in the heavily fortified Green Zone of Baghdad, but they missed their mark, police said.
All three were of the Katyusha type – a rail mounted rocket based on a Soviet design from the WWII era. They were fired from Bayaa District, a Shiite area southwest of Baghdad, a policeman said.
Two of the rockets landed in the streets of the upscale Mansour district and the third in Al Harithiyah. They missed the Green Zone, which is home to important government offices and Western embassies, the officer said. No casualties were reported.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. But the Sabreen news channel on Telegram, which is affiliated with Iran-backed Shiite militias, was the first to report the attack.
Some analysts have linked Sabreen to Asaib Ahl Al Haq, a notorious militia formed with Iranian backing in 2006.
Shortly after defeating ISIS in late 2017, pro-Iran militias and politicians began to call for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.
Tension escalated after the January 2020 assassination of Iranian military commander Qassem Suleimani, whose convoy exploded in a U.S. drone strike shortly after landing at Baghdad airport.
Influential Kataib Hezbollah militia leader Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis was also killed in the attack.
Iranian-backed groups and members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Tehran quickly vowed revenge.
Since then, militias have organized rocket and bomb attacks almost daily against US troops, the US embassy, and convoys supplying international coalition bases.
In October last year, a ceasefire was announced by a group of powerful Iranian-backed militias to allow the withdrawal of US forces. But the militias did not keep their promise.
Over the past 18 months, the size of the US forces in Iraq has been reduced from around 3,000 to 2,500. The remaining personnel will continue their mission of protecting the US embassy and training Iraqi forces.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi visited Washington in July, a trip that culminated in an agreement to formally end the US combat mission in Iraq by the end of this year.
However, Washington has repeatedly stated that its troops will continue to operate in the country in an advisory capacity.
Update: October 31, 2021, 9:21 a.m.