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Indirect fire targets US Embassy in Baghdad amidst increased regional tensions

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At approximately 23:30 on 23 September, three rockets were fired at the US Embassy in central Baghdad. Local sources suggest that two of the rockets impacted in an empty compound to the southwest of the US Embassy, while the other impacted in the Tigris River. No casualties or damages were reported as a result. The following day, ISF discovered and cleared a rocket via a controlled detonation in Dora, located in south Baghdad. The US-led Coalition confirmed the attack and stated that attacks on coalition personnel and facilities “will not be tolerated.” The US Department of State notably failed to comment on the attack, indicative of efforts to downplay this attack and reduce regional tensions.

The 23 September indirect fire attack is assessed to stem from a multigenerational proxy conflict, recently exacerbated by a series of suspected Israeli airstrikes against PMF bases in Iraq in July and August. Regional tensions culminated with the headlining strikes against Saudi Arabian oil facilities on 14 September. Suspected Israeli airstrikes and US complicity continued in the region, with a decisive shift of activity from central Iraq to border areas of eastern Syria and western Iraq. This included airstrikes in eastern Syria on 916, and 18 September, which reportedly killed dozens of Iranian-backed militia members and Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps personnel.

The 23 September indirect fire attack occurred one day after a suspected Israeli airstrike against a PMF camp in western Anbar on 22 September. Although these developments likely led to this indirect fire attack, this attack also coincides with the 74th session of the UN General Assembly and possibly formed a statement-level attack ahead of President Trump’s anticipated speech concerning Iran.

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