Nighttime attack on US Embassy in Baghdad injured 1

Nighttime attack on US Embassy in Baghdad injured 1
Anti-government protesters gather while security forces close a bridge leading to the Green Zone government areas, during an ongoing protest in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020. (Source: AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

BAGHDAD (Gray News/AP) - A top U.S. military commander says a mortar attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad injured on American national and caused material damage.

Staff at the embassy in the Iraqi capital had initially said it was a katyusha rocket attack the previous day that had slammed into a restaurant inside the embassy compound. They spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because they were not authorized to brief the media.

The U.S. Embassy is in the Iraqi capital’s Green Zone, and has been a flashpoint amid wider regional tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

A violent overnight crackdown by Iraqi security forces also killed one protester in the south.

Rep. Michael McCaul, the lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs committee, said in a tweet Sunday that he is “closely monitoring reports of a rocket attack targeting the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.”

“Violent acts against our diplomatic facilities are simply unacceptable. We must ensure the safety of American diplomats, troops and other Americans in Iraq,” he wrote.

A State Department spokesperson said Sunday evening that they “are aware of reports of rockets landing in the International Zone,” but did not address the U.S. embassy itself, CNN reports.

“We call on the Government of Iraq to fulfill its obligations to protect our diplomatic facilities,” the spokesperson said.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi condemned the attack. In a statement, he asserted Iraq’s commitment to “protecting all diplomatic missions.”

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The U.S. Embassy has been a flashpoint amid wider regional tensions between the U.S. and Iran. Hundreds of militiamen and their supporters attacked the compound twice at the end of December and beginning of January, protesting airstrikes against an Iran-backed militia.

There have been numerous other rocket attacks on the Green Zone and the area surrounding it in recent months, according to CNN.

Copyright 2020 Gray Media Group, Inc. Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.