The two staff members, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media, did not specify the injured person’s nationality or the severity of their wounds. They said the rocket slammed into a restaurant inside the embassy compound.
Violent clashes between Iraqi security forces and anti-government protesters also continued to seethe overnight, with one protester shot dead in a violent crackdown in the country’s south.
The U.S. Embassy is within the Iraqi capital’s Green Zone, and has been a flashpoint amid wider regional tensions between the U.S. and Iran, which have played out inside Iraq in recent weeks. Iraqi supporters of an Iran-backed militia stormed the embassy compound on Dec. 31, smashing the main door and setting fire to the reception area.
At least five katyusha rockets landed inside the Green Zone on Sunday, according to a U.S. military statement. It was the third rocket attack targeting the U.S. Embassy this month, and the perpetrators were not immediately known. Previous attacks caused no injuries.
The U.S. has accused Iran-backed militias of targeting U.S. interests by attacking military bases housing Americans and diplomatic missions.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi condemned the attack in a statement, asserting Iraq’s commitment to protecting diplomatic missions in the country.
Iraq has been roiled by over four months of demonstrations criticizing alleged government corruption, high unemployment and Iranian influence in Iraqi politics. Security forces have killed at least 500 protesters. The country is also facing a political clash over naming the next prime minister.
The latest protester’s death came amid a violent pre-dawn crackdown by security forces on a protest camp in the southern city of Nasiriyah, an activist and a medical official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
Police fired live rounds to disperse crowds from a central square in Nasiriyah where protesters were staging a sit-in, prompting demonstrators to flee. The encampment site was later burned. It was not immediately clear whether security forces or unknown groups had torched it. The city has been a frequent flashpoint in the protest movement.
JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday, after an Iranian missile strike on U.S.-led forces in Iraq, that Israel would hit back hard against anyone who attacked his country.
Netanyahu reiterated his praise for U.S. President Donald Trump for the killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani last week, calling it a bold move.
The Israeli leader said Soleimani had tried to destabilize the region for decades and was “planning much worse.”
Without directly referencing Iran’s missile strikes overnight, in what Tehran called retaliation for the general’s death in Baghdad, Netanyahu said in a speech in Jerusalem that Israel stood beside the United States.
“Whoever tries to attack us will be dealt the strongest blow,” Netanyahu said, accusing Iran of leading a campaign to “strangle and destroy” Israel.
Ms Begum, now 20, left the UK in 2015 and was found in a Syrian refugee camp in February after living under IS rule for more than three years.
Former home secretary Sajid Javid revoked the teenager’s citizenship later that month, prompting her family to take legal action against the Home Office in a bid to overturn the decision.
On Tuesday, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), a specialist court which hears challenges to decisions to remove someone’s British citizenship on national security grounds, will hold a four-day preliminary hearing in London.
Mrs Justice Elisabeth Laing is expected to deal with, among other things, whether depriving Ms Begum of her British citizenship rendered her stateless and was therefore unlawful.
• READ MORE: IS bride Shamima Begum says she was ‘brainwashed’
Individuals appealing to SIAC usually remain anonymous, however it is understood that Ms Begum has waived her right to anonymity.
Ms Begum, then aged 15, was one of three schoolgirls – along with Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase – from Bethnal Green Academy who left their homes and families in February 2015 to join a fourth Bethnal Green schoolgirl, Sharmeena Begum, who had left London in 2014, in Syria.
In February, Ms Begum was found by The Times, nine months pregnant, at a refugee camp, telling the paper that she would “do anything required just to be able to come home”.
Ms Begum said she was married 10 days after arriving in Raqqa to a Dutchman who had converted to Islam, Yago Riedijk, who she claimed was later arrested, charged with spying and tortured.
She eventually left Raqqa in January 2017 with her husband but her children, a girl aged a year and nine months old and a three-month-old boy, both died.
• READ MORE: Jihadi bride Shamima Begum slams ‘unjust’ decision to revoke her citizenship
Her third child, a son, also died shortly after he was born.
Ms Begum told The Times she had “mostly” lived a “normal life in Raqqa, every now and then bombing and stuff”.
She added: “But when I saw my first severed head in a bin it didn’t faze me at all. It was from a captured fighter seized on the battlefield, an enemy of Islam. I thought only of what he would have done to a Muslim woman if he had the chance.”
The Home Office revoked her British citizenship later in February – a decision which is only lawful if it did not leave Ms Begum stateless.
It was speculated at the time that Ms Begum may have Bangladeshi citizenship, but Bangladesh’s minister of state for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam has denied this.
Home Secretary Priti Patel told The Sun last month that Ms Begum would not be able to return to the UK, telling the paper: “Our job is to keep our country safe.
“We don’t need people who have done harm and left our country to be part of a death cult and to perpetrate that ideology.
“We cannot have people who would do us harm allowed to enter our country – and that includes this woman.
“Everything I see in terms of security and intelligence, I am simply not willing to allow anybody who has been an active supporter or campaigner for IS in this country.”
Islamic State has been conquered and the war has ended in large parts of Syria, but most Syrian refugees living in Germany want to stay. Many fear persecution if they go back while others have already established themselves in their new home. By Katrin Elger and Asia Haidar Maurizio Gambarini / DPA July 03, 2019 […]
6 Children, 3 Women Among 15 Killed in Raids on Terror Hideouts in Sri Lanka
The shootout between troops and suspected Islamist militants erupted on Friday evening in Sainthamaruthu in Ampara district, to the south of the town of Batticaloa, site of one of the Easter Sunday blasts at three churches and four luxury hotels.
A police spokesman said that three suspected suicide bombers were among the 15 dead after the shootout.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for last Sunday’s attacks, all but one of which were in the capital, Colombo. The government has said they were carried out by nine well-educated Sri Lankans, eight of whom have been identified.
Authorities have warned there could be more attacks targeting religious centers following the bombings, which shattered the relative calm that Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka had enjoyed since a civil war against mostly-Hindu ethnic Tamil separatists ended a decade ago.
The U.S. State Department, warning that terrorist groups were continuing to plot attacks, urged citizens to reconsider travel to Sri Lanka.
It ordered the departure from the country of all school-age family members of U.S. government employees and also authorized non-emergency employees to leave, it said in a statement.
Britain has also warned its nationals to avoid traveling to Sri Lanka unless absolutely necessary.