Shafaq News / The United States is considering quickly closing its embassy in Baghdad after a series of rocket attacks on Iraq's Green Zone by Iranian-backed militias, according to two sources familiar with the discussions, "Axios" website reported.
The website noted that the move, among several options being considered, could be a "prelude to retaliation against Iran, which President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have branded a state sponsor of terror. The embassy has also played a pivotal role in supporting a shaky Iraqi government."
The latest attack occurred Sunday, when defensive interceptors stationed at the embassy shot down three rockets fired into the Green Zone. The protective enclave within the capital is where many diplomats live and the U.S. has its heavily fortified embassy.
Pompeo blamed "Iran-backed militias," saying in a statement, "The same militias targeting diplomatic facilities are stealing Iraqi state resources on a massive scale, attacking peaceful protesters and activists, and engaging in sectarian violence."
Shuttering the embassy shortly is one of several options being discussed within the Trump administration in the wake of the attack. The rocket volley was the latest in a string dating back to 2018. It came as the United States braced for any retaliation on the first anniversary of its drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, leader of the elite Quds force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Baghdad airport and other locations, including the US embassy and military bases that house US troops and diplomats, have been the target of frequent missile attacks since last year.
Washington accuses armed Iraqi factions linked to Iran of being behind the attacks targeting its embassy and military bases in which American soldiers are deployed in Iraq.