17:13 GMT08 April 2020
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    Two rockets landed inside the Green Zone in central Baghdad, Iraq, where the US embassy is located, setting off alarms at the compound, Sky News reported Thursday.

    Citing eyewitness reports, an Al Jazeera journalist noted a plume of smoke rising up from the Green Zone following the two explosions.

    ​The Green Zone, or International Zone, was established as the seat of provisional government authority following the 2003 invasion of Iraq by US and allied forces, which overthrew Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The zone became heavily fortified as a militant insurgency against the US occupation rose up in the months and years that followed, but after control of the area was returned to the Iraqi government in 2009, the Green Zone was slowly opened to the public without restrictions.

    The attack comes four days after a similar incident in which two rockets exploded inside the Green Zone with no resulting casualties. The area has been bombarded several times in recent months, and in the closing days of last year, it was the site of a major protest in which Iraqi demonstrators set fire to the outer portions of the US embassy.

    Since the demonstration, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has pressed the Iraqi government to take measures to protect US assets in the country. However, Iraq's parliament has also passed a nonbinding resolution asking US forces to withdraw from the country - something Washington has rejected.


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