State Dept. Confirms Mortar Attack Near U.S. Embassy in Iraq

The State Department confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon there was a mortar attack near the United States embassy in Iraq on Thursday.

A video captured a series of 16 explosions which can be seen lighting up the night sky.

U.S. officials confirmed a series of explosions near the U.S. embassy in the Green Zone in Baghdad.

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‎"We are closely ‎following reports of possible explosions outside of the Green Zone in Baghdad," a State Department official said on background.

The embassy has not been impacted and U.S. staff are taking appropriate safety precautions and prioritizing the safety of Americans on the ground.

"‎The security and safety of Americans are among our highest priorities," the official said. "Host nation security and U.S. embassy security officials will take appropriate measures to safeguard personnel and visitors.‎"

Sources say the attack came from Baghdad Area Zayoona, which is well known for control of Asae'b Ahlil Al Haq, an Iraqi Shi'a paramilitary group backed by Iran. The group was active during the Iraqi insurgency and in the Syrian Civil War. The mortars used in the attack are identified as 120mm, which are considered heavy mortars and could cause extensive damage.

Sources believe the Iranian-backed group is responsible for the attack.

Iranian-backed forces have long been operating in Iraq and have obtained U.S. arms. Iran continues to solidify its presence in the neighboring country, which it considers a key strategic location.