BAGHDAD: Three rockets slammed into the US embassy in Iraq’s capital on Sunday in the first direct hit reported after months of close calls, as thousands kept up anti-government sit-ins across the country.
The attack marked a dangerous escalation in the spree of rocket attacks in recent months that have targeted the embassy or Iraqi military bases where American troops are deployed.
None of the attacks has been claimed but Washington has repeatedly blamed Iran-backed military factions in Iraq.
On Sunday, one rocket hit an embassy cafeteria at dinner time while two others landed nearby, a security source told AFP.
The Iranian Fars News Agency aired a short video on January 10, 2020, titled “Severe Revenge,” dramatizing an Iranian assassination of U.S. President Donald Trump. In the video, Iranian officials are seen planning their revenge for the killing of Qods Force commander Qasem Soleimani.
They study a board with a diagram of possible targets, U.S. President Trump is at the head and Israeli PM Netanyahu, Secretary of State Pompeo, Saudi Crown Prince Bin Salman, and Masoud Rajavi, former leader of Mujahedeen-e-Khalq are at the bottom. The Iranian officials say they are “going for the big fish,” and one of them says: “We should target their head.”
In the video, the U.S. Capitol Building is blown up and then the Iranian forces storm the White House, shooting anyone in their sight. President Trump, Secretary of State Pompeo and PM Netanyahu, among others, lie dead on the White House floor. The voice of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is heard in the background, saying: “Severe revenge awaits the criminals whose dirty hands are soiled with his blood.”
Iran’s judiciary said Tuesday arrests have been made over the accidental shootdown of a Ukrainian passenger plane that killed all 176 people on board just after takeoff from Tehran.
Iran’s president on Tuesday also called for a special court to be set up to probe the incident.
“The judiciary should form a special court with a ranking judge and dozens of experts,” President Hassan Rouhani said in a speech televised in Iran. “This is not an ordinary case. The entire the world will be watching this court.”
Rouhani called the incident “a painful and unforgivable” mistake and promised that his administration would pursue the case “by all means.”
“The responsibility falls on more than just one person,” he said, adding that those found culpable “should be punished.”
“There are others, too, and I want that this issue is expressed honestly,” he said, without elaborating.
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES — Iranian security forces fired both live ammunition and tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting against the Islamic Republic’s initial denial that it shot down a Ukrainian jetliner, online videos purported to show Monday.
Videos sent to the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran and later verified by The Associated Press show a crowd of demonstrators near Azadi, or Freedom, Square fleeing as a tear gas canister landed among them. People cough and sputter while trying to escape the fumes, with one woman calling out in Farsi: “They fired tear gas at people! Azadi Square. Death to the dictator!”
“Oh my God, she’s bleeding nonstop!” one person shouts. Another shouts: “Bandage it!”
Photos and video after the incident show pools of blood on the sidewalk.