Anti-American forces in Iraq, consisting of Iranian-backed militias such as Kataib Hezbollah, have been firing rockets at US forces for more than a year. These have killed three members of the US-led coalition and one contractor. They have also frequently targeted the embassy and Union III facility in Baghdad, as well as Western coalition areas near the airport and Ayn al-Assad and Camp Taji bases.On Sunday, rumors that Washington had brought missile-defense systems into Baghdad to be deployed near the embassy led to calls for the US to stop turning the area into an “armed camp.” Iraqi members of parliament, including the deputy speaker, said the US decision was a provocation.While Iraqi politicians spread rumors about “Patriot missiles” in Baghdad, the actual system apparently is not the Patriot but the smaller C-RAM. Patriots are designed to intercept larger missiles and have been deployed at other bases in Iraq.IRAQ IS today at a crossroads as pro-Iranian groups push their agents on Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. He has chosen a member of the Badr Organization for a high-level national security position. A week ago, he tried to have the Counter-Terrorism Service detain members of Kataib Hezbollah who were plotting attacks on the US. Instead, they were released and proceeded to burn the American flag and trample images of Kadhimi. The US repelled a Katyusha rocket attack on the embassy overnight, Rudaw media reported. The overnight rocket attack appeared to take place an hour or two after midnight, Nafiseh Kohnavard of the BBC tweeted. The US is cutting its troop levels in Iraq, said Al-Mayadeen media, which is pro-Iranian. A rocket attack was thwarted by security forces, who claimed they found the rockets prior to firing, Shafaaq media said.Meanwhile, the US-led coalition has said it is shifting to a more mentoring role with the Iraqi security forces. The US used to train, equip, advise and assist missions with the Iraqis, including airstrikes and going out on raids against ISIS. America had Security Force Assistance Brigades (SFAB) in Iraq to work with local units.But the Iran-US tensions and rocket attacks – as well as an attack on the US Embassy and America’s assassination of Quds Force leader Qaasem Soleimani in January – led the US to reduce its footprint. Brig.-Gen. William Seely has said Task Force Iraq is changing its mission after having helped train almost 250,000 Iraqis.It is time to shift the focus, the US says. This comes in the context of the tensions. The US may be reducing its footprint and battening down the hatches in preparation for expected confrontations with the pro-Iranian rogue Shi’ite militias who keep firing rockets.Video and photos claimed to show a civilian wounded during the rocket fire in Baghdad. It is still not known if the projectiles hit the civilian or if there is more to the story. A request by The Jerusalem Post to the coalition for clarification was directed to the US Embassy, which had not issued a statement as of press time.Local Iraqi Security Media Cell members put out photos of the rockets that were allegedly found after the attack.“A Katyusha-type rocket fired from Ali Al-Saleh area in Baghdad towards the green zone, where it fell near a house near my country channel, wounding a child and [causing] home damage,” the Iraqi statement said. “At the same time, our troops were able to thwart another attack in Umm Al-Bones area and also Katyusha rocket control and launch base. This rocket was found to have been directed towards coronavirus camp north of the capital.”Whether other rockets were intercepted is still unclear after a long night of claims and counterclaims in Baghdad. Photos of 107-mm. rockets were posted online Sunday. Iraqi security forces had found them, and they were being prepared to be fired, the captions said.
... في الوقت ذاته تمكنت قواتنا مِن إحباط هجوم اخر في منطقة ام العظام والسيطرة على صاروخ نوع كاتيوشا أيضاً وقاعدة الاطلاق، وقد تبين أن هذا الصاروخ كان موجه نحو معسكر التاجي شمالي العاصمة . pic.twitter.com/rMntLkDy2i— خلية الإعلام الأمني (@SecMedCell) July 5, 2020