Kadhimi, Biden discuss Iraq rocket attacks
US President Joe Biden spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Tuesday to discuss recent rocket attacks in Iraq, with both leaders calling for accountability, according to the White House.
“They discussed the recent rocket attacks against Iraqi and Coalition personnel and agreed that those responsible for such attacks must be held fully to account,” reads a statement from the White House.
Several rockets were fired at Baghdad’s Green Zone, home to foreign missions, including the US embassy, on Monday night. It followed a similar attack on Balad Air Base on Sunday, injuring one contractor, and a rocket attack on Erbil on February 8, which left two people dead and a dozen injured.
While the US has yet to specifically attribute blame on the attacks, Secretary of State Ned Price on Monday said that recent attacks have used “Iranian-made, Iranian-supplied” weaponry.
“The President affirmed US support for Iraq’s sovereignty and independence and commended the Prime Minister’s leadership,” the statement added.
In recent months, several seemingly newly established groups have claimed responsibility for rocket attacks on Western diplomatic and security installations.
An unknown militant group by the name of Saraya Awlia al-Dam (Guardians of Blood Brigades) claimed responsibility for the Erbil attack.
US and Iraqi officials have told AFP they believe such factions to be “smokescreen” entities for more prominent pro-Iran groups including Kataib Hezbollah and Asaib Ahl al-Haq.
Both militias have denied responsibility for recent attacks.
Nouri al-Maliki, former Iraqi Prime Minister and current secretary general of the al-Dawa party, on Tuesday called upon security forces “to protect diplomatic missions in accordance with international conventions and norms.”
In a statement reported on by state media, he said the attacks harm Iraq’s reputation and relations with other countries.