The U.S. embassy in Baghdad was attacked by mortar fire on Friday morning that caused minor material damage but no casualties, U.S. and Iraqi officials said.

Explosions were heard near the embassy in the capital city of Iraq at approximately 4:15 a.m. on Friday. An embassy spokesperson then confirmed the U.S. Embassy was attacked, adding: “Assessments are ongoing, but there are no reported casualties on the Embassy compound.”

The attack was confirmed by a U.S. military official who said the attack was launched at U.S. and Coalition forces in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses Iraqi government buildings and embassies.

A Pentagon spokesperson confirmed later that at least seven 60 mm mortar rounds landed in the U.S. Embassy compound while others fell into the river. U.S. and Iraqi officials initially said the projectiles were rockets. 

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Iraqi troops outside the embassy

Iraqi Counter Terrorism Forces stand guard outside the U.S. Embassy on May 30, 2021 in Baghdad, Iraq.   (John Moore/Getty Images)

Friday’s mortars struck in the vicinity of the embassy complex and Union III that houses offices of the U.S.-led coalition, the official added, clarifying there were no casualties.

The attack was believed to have been carried out by Iran-aligned militias in Iraq, an embassy spokesperson said. No group immediately claimed responsibility.

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“We again call on the Government of Iraq, as we have done on many occasions, to do all in its power to protect diplomatic and Coalition partner personnel and facilities,” the official said. “We reiterate that we reserve the right to self-defense and to protect our personnel anywhere in the world.”

Palestinian protester outside the embassy

A protester holds a during a Palestinian flag during a protest to support the Palestinian people and protest against the US support for Israel near the US embassy in Baghdad.  (Ameer Al-Mohammedawi/picture alliance via Getty Images)

The attack is the first such attack on the U.S. Embassy since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war, which has escalated tensions in the region. Various militia groups have attacked U.S. forces throughout Iraq and Syria since the Israel-Hamas war began two months ago.

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Iran-backed militias in Iraq have claimed responsibility for dozens of attacks that targeted bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria. The armed groups, operating under the banner of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, have linked more than 70 such attacks to Washington’s backing of Israel in its devastating assault on Gaza.

Locator map for Iraq

This is a locator map for Iraq with its capital, Baghdad. (AP Photo)

The U.S. military says a total of 78 attacks have been carried out against U.S. facilities over recent weeks of which 37 were in Iraq and 41 in Syria. In response to attacks against American troops, U.S. forces have retaliated with airstrikes in both Iraq and Syria, hitting weapons depots and other facilities directly linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The U.S. has roughly 2,500 troops stationed in Iraq and around 900 others in eastern Syria, operating on various missions against the Islamic State group.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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