Trump threatened to destroy Iran in a tweet sent in the wake of reports that a rocket was fired into Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone less than a mile away from the US Embassy.
News outlets reported explosions in Iraq’s capital and that a rocket launcher was discovered in eastern Baghdad, an area that is allegedly known to be a home to Iranian-backed Shiite militias.
Roads leading into the Green Zone were briefly closed and no casualties were reported.
Amid escalating tensions between the US and Iran there have been concerns that Iraq, where Iranian forces and about 5,000 American troops are stationed, could become entangled in the standoff.
A Saudi diplomat said his country doesn’t want to go to war with Iran but but will defend itself after two Saudi oil tankers were targeted by acts of sabotage off the coast of the United Arab Emirates last week.
No group has claimed responsibility for the alleged sabotage but US officials in reports signaled that Iran encouraged Iraq-based Iranian militants to carry it out. No physical evidence has been produced yet.
Riyadh also accused Tehran of being behind a drone attack on two oil pumping stations in the Kingdom, which Yemen’s Iranian-aligned Houthi group claimed responsibility for.
The top commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, the country’s elite fighting force, echoed the same sentiments through state media on Sunday.
“Iran is not looking for any type of war, but it is fully prepared to defend itself,” said Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami.
Tensions have been heightened between Washington and Tehran after reports said Iran was planning to carry out attacks on American troops and ships in the region.
Earlier this month, the White House sent warships and bombers into the Persian Gulf to counter any threats from Iran and evacuated non-emergency personnel from Iraq.