HEADLINES:

US provides nearly $20m to Iraq for International Zone security

The US embassy’s senior defense official Brigadier General John Teichert and the commander of Special Command Division Major General Hamid Mahdi Al Zuhairi on January 23, 2021 (Photo Credit: US embassy in Baghdad/Facebook)
2021-01-23

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SULAIMANI — The US embassy in Baghdad said on Saturday (January 23) that the US has provided nearly $20 million to support the Iraqi government efforts to secure the International Zone.

The embassy said in a statement that the support included funding for a civil engineering team to conduct a thorough survey of the existing access points to the area, which is also known as the Green Zone, and to develop plans for new gates.

During a meeting with the commander of Special Command Division Major General Hamid Mahdi Al Zuhairi, the embassy’s senior defense official Brigadier General John Teichert presented the survey team’s final report.

The embassy described the support as “an important milestone” in the ongoing cooperative project to strengthen the security of the International Zone, which home to many Iraqi ministries, the Council of Representatives, and several foreign embassies.

In the early hours of Saturday, three rockets were fired at Baghdad International Airport, causing only material damage. Similar attacks in the past have been blamed on militias within the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).

On Thursday, twin suicide blasts rocked an open-air bazaar in central Baghdad that killed 32 people and wounded over hundred others, for which Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility.

(NRT Digital Media)