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US Blames Iran-Backed Militias for Baghdad Rocket Attack

FILE - In this Jan. 3, 2020 file photo, the U.S. Embassy is seen from across the Tigris River in Baghdad, Iraq. At least three rockets targeted the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone on Dec. 20, 2020, Iraqi security officials said.

The United States has blamed Iran-backed militias for a rocket attack Sunday on the heavily fortified Green Zone in Iraq’s capital.

Iraq’s military said an “outlawed group” fired at least eight rockets, injuring one Iraqi soldier and damaging some buildings and cars.

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad said no embassy personnel were hurt, and that there was some minor damage to the compound.

An embassy missile defense system was activated to deflect the attack.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States “strongly condemns the latest attack by Iran-backed militias.”

“We call on all Iraqis to support their government’s efforts to reinforce Iraq’s sovereignty, to bring to justice those responsible for these reprehensible attacks and ensure that all the currently Iran-backed militias are under state control,” Pompeo said in a statement late Sunday.

The United States is reducing its troop levels in Iraq. In response to multiple previous rocket attacks, it has threatened to shut its embassy in Baghdad unless the Iraqi government acts to control Iran-backed militias.