Iraq's foreign minister Wednesday condemned a rocket attack in the capital a day earlier, calling it a “terrorist act, " and said combat operations by the U. S. -led coalition will cease once troop withdrawals take place in the coming weeks.
Fuad Hussein's comments came hours after seven rockets struck Baghdad, four of them exploding inside the heavily fortified Green Zone, the seat of Iraq's government and home to the U. S. Embassy.
The rockets, which killed a child and wounded five other civilians, indicated an end to an informal truce announced by Iran-backed militias in October to halt attacks targeting the U. S. presence in Iraq.
One rocket landed just 600 meters (2, 000 feet) from the U. S. Embassy compound, Iraqi security officials said.
U. S. troops invaded Iraq in 2003 and left in 2011 but returned in 2014 after the Islamic State group overran large parts of Iraq.
Frequent attacks targeting the U. S. Embassy and vehicles transporting equipment for U. S. troops have led Washington to threaten to close its Baghdad diplomatic mission.
Hussein called the attack against the Green Zone “blatant, criminal and terrorist" in comments to reporters following a meeting with the U. S. ambassador and U. S. military leaders. “It is an attack on the Iraqi government and Iraqi people and we condemn such operations, ” Hussein said.
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