At approximately 03:25 on 16 February, at least three rockets reportedly impacted in the vicinity of the International Zone in central Baghdad, with a fourth detonation reported in east Baghdad. According to unnamed Iraqi security officials, two rockets impacted within the perimeter of the US Embassy compound, while the third hit a nearby military facility. The spokesman for the Coalition Forces in Iraq, Col. Myles B. Caggins, confirmed that a rocket attack targeted an Iraqi base hosting Coalition troops, causing minor damages but no casualties.
According to the official Iraqi Security Media Cell, three Katyusha rockets impacted inside the International Zone. A fourth explosion was reported at a PMF logistics center (formerly the Iraqi Olympic Commission building) on Palestine Street, near the Police College, in east Baghdad, causing damage to a vehicle and other materials, but no casualties.
Security forces reportedly found the launchpad mounted on a tuktuk motorcycle in the Amana area, located approximately 6km east from the International Zone, supporting earlier suggestions that the fourth detonation was caused by a rocket malfunction near the launch site. The platform seemingly comprised 10 tubes, partially correlating with initial reports of 4-5 rocket impacts. As many as 6 rockets seemingly failed to launch.
Predictably, no direct claims of responsibility were released following the incident. Notably, the attack came hours after the leader of the pro-Iranian Nujabaa Movement PMF, Nasr al-Shammari, warned that the group started a countdown towards the end of the US military presence in Iraq. “Our decision to start the countdown to achieve sovereignty and respond to the American occupation forces militarily is an Iraqi decision with distinction, and we will not allow interference from any party.”
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