Baghdad, Iraq: Early Friday morning, explosions erupted outside the US Embassy in Baghdad, sending shockwaves through the city. Videos of the incident, capturing the initial blast and subsequent fire, have quickly circulated on social media, prompting anxiety among authorities.
While US officials confirm the safety of all diplomats within the embassy and embassy spokespeople have declined comment, the sudden attack has heightened security concerns. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the incident, which occurred around 4:00 AM local time.
Media reports indicate this may be the latest in a series of attacks targeting US forces in the region. Since October, over 70 attacks have been carried out against US military bases in Iraq and Syria, with a student organisation linked to Iraqi Shiite Muslim armed groups claiming responsibility for some. However, no connection has been established between these attacks and the one at the US Embassy.
Some speculate that the recent Israel-Hamas conflict may be motivating attacks against US interests. Similar incidents targeting US troops occurred in October, with three separate attacks causing vehicle damage but no casualties. Since the start of the conflict, concerns about the safety of Americans and US interests in the region have intensified.
Although the US Embassy and military officials in Iraq have not commented on the incident, a US military official confirmed an IED blast had targeted a military convoy in the northern city of Mosul. This additional attack further underscores the heightened security risks facing US personnel in the region.
The explosions outside the US Embassy highlight the ongoing tensions and volatility within Iraq. As investigations into the incident continue, the question of who is responsible and their motivations remains to be answered. With the region still grappling with the aftermath of the Israel-Hamas conflict, concerns about further attacks targeting US interests are likely to persist.