A series of dramatic videos show a Sunday night (local time) rocket attack against the Green Zone in Baghdad, presumably once again targeting the large US Embassy complex there.
"At least three Katyusha rockets landed in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone in an attack targeting the US Embassy, two Iraqi security sources said on Sunday," Reuters reports.
The US embassy's high tech C-RAM system, or "Counter rocket, artillery, and mortar" defense weapon, was activated in response to the inbound rocket fire.
Below: the Centurion Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (C-RAM) system which protects the embassy compound and Green Zone.
According to a description of the C-RAM's specialized ammo in The Drive:
What you are seeing in the video is a dense string of M-940 20mm Multipurpose Tracer-Self Destruct (MPT-SD) rounds. The ammunition is specially engineered to self-destruct at a certain distance so that the string of shells doesn't take out a city block miles away.
While such attacks, widely blamed on Iraq's Shia paramilitary unites backed by Iran, have come almost monthly they don't often directly strike the embassy.
The enemy rockets and mortars, often fired without sophisticated targeting systems (or essentially fired "blindly"), often hit nearby civilian residences which sit just outside the Green Zone, as apparently just happened in Sunday's rocket attack.
There are early reports several apartment buildings were struck by the inbound projectiles.
One of the rockets targeting the U.S Embassy in Baghdad made a direct hit on an Iraqi apartment complex near the embassy. You can hear the children screams in the background. pic.twitter.com/aAxtaMY7sO— Steven Nabil (@thestevennabil) December 20, 2020
"An anti-rocket system set up to defend the U.S. Embassy fired and diverted one of the rockets, said one security official whose office is inside the Green Zone," Reuters detailed further.
Within the early hours after the attack there are no reports of casualties. It comes after weeks ago Trump ordered a sizeable US troop reduction from Iraq of at least 2,500.
Hawks, however, fear that a major American draw down from Iraq and the region will only empower Iran and those local forces which are believed doing Tehran's bidding.