Iraqi forces foil rocket attack on Baghdad Green Zone

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BAGHDAD, July 10 (Xinhua) — The Iraqi security forces thwarted a Katyusha rocket attack targeting the heavily fortified Green Zone in central the Iraqi capital Baghdad, the Iraqi military said on Friday.

The troops found the rocket in al-Qanat Street in eastern Baghdad and dismantled it before being fired by unknown militants who apparently fled the scene before the arrival of the security forces, the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said in a statement without giving further details about when exactly the incident took place.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attempt of firing the rocket. The military bases housing U.S. troops across Iraq and the U.S. embassy in the Green Zone have been frequently targeted by insurgent mortar and rocket attacks.

The attacks came as the Iraqi-U.S. relations have witnessed a tension since Jan. 3 when a U.S. drone struck a convoy at Baghdad airport, which killed Qassem Soleimani, former commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy chief of Iraq’s paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces.

The U.S. airstrike prompted the Iraqi parliament on Jan. 5 to pass a resolution requiring the government to end the presence of foreign forces in the country.

More than 5,000 U.S. troops have been deployed in Iraq to support the Iraqi forces in the battles against the Islamic State militants, mainly providing training and advising to the Iraqi forces. Enditem

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