Iraq rocket attack targets think tank in Najaf

Iraq rocket attack targets think tank in Najaf
2 min read
The RPG attack comes days before the Al-Rafidain Centre for Dialogue hosts an international conference that brings together senior Iraqi government officials and American research bodies, including the United States Institute for Peace.
The attack has not been claimed by any group and did not cause any casualties [Getty - file photo]

A think-tank in southern Iraq sustained structural damage after being targeted in a rocket attack early Tuesday, The New Arab's Arabic-language, Al Araby Al-Jadeed has reported.

Al-Rafidain Centre for Dialogue (RCD), located in the holy Shia city of Najaf, was struck by an RPG on Tuesday morning, local sources told Al Araby Al-Jadeed.

The attack has not been claimed by any group and did not cause any casualties. Images of the building that circulated on social media showed a hollowed-out window on the centre's front facade with an English-language sign in tatters.

It comes days before the RCD hosts an international conference bringing together senior Iraqi government officials and American research bodies, including the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).

This year's RCD Forum, a three-day conference held annually, will reportedly mark 100 years of the establishment of the Iraqi state.

The attack on the NGO, reminiscent of those targeting US bases and claimed by Iran-backed Shia paramilitaries, comes after talks between US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi in Washington last month focused in part on the withdrawal of US combat troops.

Kadhimi is under pressure from pro-Iran factions who demand the withdrawal of 2,500 US troops, still deployed in Iraq.

The country will host a regional summit this week, bringing together the leaders of Egypt and Jordan, as well as French President Emmanuel Macron.

Leaders from Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey have been invited but are yet to confirm their attendance.

The event seeks to give Iraq a "unifying role" to tackle the crises shaking the region, according to sources close to Kadhimi.

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