19:45 GMT +317 June 2019
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    An aerial view of Tahrir Square in downtown Baghdad, Iraq

    'Someone's Trying to Ratchet up Tensions' - Iraqi Military on Baghdad Strike

    © AP Photo / Hadi Mizban
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    CAIRO (Sputnik) - Yahya Rasul Abdullah, a spokesman for Iraq's military, has warned about attempts to destabilise the country, in a comment to Sputnik on Monday, after last weekend’s rocket strike on Baghdad.

    "It was an attempt to shuffle the cards and stoke tension amid an escalation between the US and Iran. Someone is trying to ratchet up tensions. The position of the military and security forces is clear: we will protect Iraq’s territory and citizens, diplomatic missions and everything else on its soil," the spokesman said.

    Rasul added he hoped that diplomats would succeed in "putting an end to the ongoing crisis." It sparked after the United States sent warships and bombers to the Persian Gulf in response to an unspecified threat from Iran. US non-essential diplomatic staff were pulled from Iraq last week.

    The remarks come after a rocket reportedly hit the capital's Green Zone last Sunday where government buildings and foreign diplomatic missions are located. The projectile fell near the US Embassy.

    The reports regarding the explosion emerged after last week the US State Department ordered the recall of non-emergency government employees from the US embassy in Baghdad and the consulate in Erbil. Additionally, the US State Department urged American citizens to abandon their visits to Iraq because of threats in the region linked to "terrorism, kidnapping and armed conflict."

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    Tags:
    rocket strike, Green Zone, Iraq, Baghdad
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