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Trump blames Iran for rockets targeted at US Embassy in Baghdad

Posted at 5:16 PM, Dec 23, 2020

President Donald Trump tweeted a photo on Wednesday of rockets that were aimed at the US Embassy in Baghdad, and claimed that the rockets were fired by Iran.

The attack came on Sunday, embassy officials confirmed. Trump said that three of the rockets failed to launch.

The embassy said that there was minor damage to the compound, but no injuries. The US embassy said there were reports of damage and injuries in residential communities near the embassy.

“These sorts of attacks on diplomatic facilities are a violation of international law and are a direct assault on the sovereignty of the Iraqi government,” the US Embassy in Baghdad tweeted.

“Some friendly health advice to Iran: If one American is killed, I will hold Iran responsible. Think it over,” Trump said on Wednesday.

Tensions rose earlier this year between Iran and the US after Iranian General Qasem Soleimani was killed after a US attack on the influential Iranian military leader. Iran responded by firing more than a dozen missiles that struck two airbases in Iraq that houses U.S. troops, the Pentagon confirmed. Iran said at the time that it did not seek to escalate tensions between the two nations.

"Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched," Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said in January. "We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression."

Saeed Khatibzadeh, a spokesperson for Iran’s foreign ministry, alleged on Monday that the US was responsible for escalating tensions following Sunday’s attack.

“We strongly refute Secretary (Mike) Pompeo 's irresponsible anti-Iran accusations, which blatantly aim to create tension,” Khatibzadeh tweeted. “Iran rejects any attack on diplomatic missions. The U.S. military presence is the source of instability in our region. No amount of spin can divert blame for its evils.”