BAGHDAD — A rocket landed Wednesday on the edge of a compound housing staff from global oil giant ExxonMobil, wounding three people near Iraq’s southern city of Basra — the latest in a string of attacks on U.S.-linked targets in the region.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which came shortly after Iraq’s military reported three other rocket attacks this week near bases housing U.S. forces.
Concerns are growing among Iraqi and Western officials over the potential for the country to be drawn into a standoff between the United States and Iran, after the Trump administration blamed Tehran for attacks on two tankers in the Persian Gulf.
Iran backs a handful of powerful militias in Iraq, where more than 5,000 U.S. troops are stationed as part of an ongoing mission to prevent a resurgence of the Islamic State group.
There are fears that if a conflict were to erupt between the United States and Iran, it would involve the countries many proxy militias in the region.
The rockets have generally caused little damage. Iraq’s joint operations command said the rocket that targeted a base in the northern city of Mosul late Tuesday had landed in open ground and caused no casualties.
The United States partially evacuated its embassy in Baghdad last month, after the Trump administration accused Iran, without providing evidence, of supporting “imminent attacks” on U.S. personnel in the region. Days later, a rocket exploded less than a mile away.
In a statement Tuesday, Iraqi prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi issued a veiled warning to Washington and Tehran, saying that foreign powers should not use Iraqi soil to settle scores. In the event of meaningful escalation, analysts and diplomats say, it is unclear how far Iraq’s government would be able to rein in some of the country’s militias.
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