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A rocket was fired into the Iraqi capital Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses gover

As U.S.-Iran tension simmers, rocket fired near Iraq's U.S. Embassy

The attack came two weeks after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Iraqi leaders during a surprise visit to Baghdad that if they failed to keep in check Iran-backed militias, which are expanding their power in Iraq and now form part of its security apparatus, the United States would respond with force.

His visit came after U.S. intelligence showed Iran-backed Shi’ite militias positioning rockets near bases housing U.S. forces, according to two Iraqi security sources.

A U.S. State Department official noted that there had so far been no claim of responsibility, and that no U.S.-inhabited facility was impacted.

“But, we take this incident very seriously,” the official said. “We will hold Iran responsible if any such attacks are conducted by its proxy militia forces or elements of such forces, and will respond to Iran accordingly.”

The Iraq military said the Katyusha rocket fell in the middle of the Green Zone, near the Monument of the Unknown Soldier.

The monument lies in open ground about half a kilometer (a third of a mile) north of the sprawling, riverside U.S. Embassy compound. The blast was heard across central Baghdad, according  witnesses and residents.

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