Rare Daytime Rocket Attack Hits Baghdad As Iran Foreign Minister Visits

BAGHDAD — A rare daytime rocket attack hit Baghdad’s Green Zone on Sunday, security sources said, as Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met top Iraqi officials.

At least two rockets hit outside the US embassy in the high-security zone, they told AFP.

Diplomats based in the neighborhood said they could hear sirens blaring for around an hour after the attack.

The embassy’s C-RAM rocket defense system was not triggered, possibly because the missiles’ trajectory meant they would not strike within the compound.

Three dozen rocket attacks have targeted US military and diplomatic installations since October, but usually under cover of darkness.

This time, the attack took place in the searing afternoon heat as Iran’s top diplomat held back-to-back meetings with senior Iraqi officials nearby.

Zarif first met his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein early on Sunday, then Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, President Barham Saleh, Parliament Speaker Mohammed Al-Halbussi and the head of Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council, Faeq Zeidan.

Zarif is also set to travel north to the Kurdish regional capital of Arbil to meet with officials there.

The trip comes ahead of Kadhimi’s own diplomatic flurry: he will visit Iran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia on Monday, heading a delegation including his oil, electricity, planning and finance ministers.

Read More: Times of Israel