Iraq News - Local News - Baghdadpost

Iraqi FM Fuad Hussein condemns Baghdad rocket attack as ‘terrorist act’

Iraq’s foreign minister Wednesday condemned a rocket attack in the capital a day earlier, calling it a “terrorist act," and said combat operations by the US-led coalition will cease once troop withdrawals take place in the coming weeks.

Fuad Hussein’s comments came hours after seven rockets struck Baghdad, four of them exploding inside the heavily fortified Green Zone, the seat of Iraq’s government and home to the US Embassy.

The rockets, which killed a child and wounded five other civilians, indicated an end to an informal truce announced by Iran-backed militias in October to halt attacks targeting the US presence in Iraq.

One rocket landed just 600 meters (2,000 feet) from the US Embassy compound, Iraqi security officials said.

US troops invaded Iraq in 2003 and left in 2011 but returned in 2014 after the Islamic State group overran large parts of Iraq.

Frequent attacks targeting the US Embassy and vehicles transporting equipment for US troops have led Washington to threaten to close its Baghdad diplomatic mission.

Hussein called the attack against the Green Zone “blatant, criminal and terrorist" in comments to reporters following a meeting with the US ambassador and US military leaders. “It is an attack on the Iraqi government and Iraqi people and we condemn such operations,” Hussein said.

The Pentagon this week announced a reduction of troops in Iraq from 3,000 to 2,500. Hussein said that following the departure of the 500 personnel, coalition combat operations against the ISIS group would officially end.

The number of coalition troops had already been reduced from 5,200 to 3,000 in line with a planned drawdown from several Iraqi military bases.

No one claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attack but the US has directly accused Iran-backed Shiite militias for past attacks on its interests in Iraq.