Rockets explode near US embassy in Baghdad

Several rockets exploded near the US embassy in Baghdad hours after thousands took to the streets for the funeral of the Iranian general killed by a US airstrike.

At least one rocket landed inside the Green Zone in the Iraqi city, which houses government offices and foreign embassies, including the US embassy.

Streets in the Iraqi city of Baghdad where lined with mourners earlier on Saturday to mark the funeral processi on of General Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force.

A rocket has exploded near the US embassy in Baghdad (right) at an airport housing US troops. Credit: AP

No-one was injured by a Katyusha rocket that fell inside the square less than a mile from the embassy, according to an Iraqi security official.

The security official said another rocket in Baghdad landed about 500 metres from As-Salam palace, where the Iraqi president Barham Salih normally stays in Jadriya, a neighbourhood adjacent to the Green Zone.

Another security official said three rockets fell outside an air base north of Baghdad, where American contractors are normally present.

Mourners burn a US flag during the funeral of Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad. Credit: Nasser Nasser/AP

The rockets landed outside the base in a farm area and there were no reports of damage, according to the official.

According to Sky News Arabia, at least two missiles struck near the embassy in the Green Zone while others were fired at Balad Airbase, about 50 miles north of the city.

It is unclear who fired the rockets, and how many troops are at the airbase, but there are no reports of injuries at either site.

  • Mourners take to the streets to mark death of Gen Qassem Soleimani

Iran has vowed to take revenge against the US for its killing of Soleimani.

In thinly-veiled threat, one of the Iran-backed militia, Asaib Ahl al-Haq, or League of the Righteous, called on Iraqi security forces to stay at least 1,000 meters (0.6 miles) away from US bases starting Sunday night.

Iran has vowed harsh retaliation, raising fears of an all-out war – though US President Donald Trump has said he ordered the strike to prevent a conflict as his administration believes Soleimani was plotting a series of attacks that endangered American troops and officials.

The mourners carried Iraqi flags and the flags of Iran-backed militias that are fiercely loyal to Soleimani.

Many protesters were emotional during a demonstration against the killing of Soleimani in Tehran. Credit: AP

They were also mourning Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a senior Iraqi militia commander who was killed in the same strike.

The procession began at the Imam Kadhim shrine in Baghdad, one of the most revered sites in Shiite Islam. Mourners marched in the streets alongside militia vehicles in a solemn procession.

The mourners, many of them in tears, chanted: “No, No, America,” and “Death to America, death to Israel”.