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Missile Strike Aimed at Al Rasheed

Al Rasheed Hotel, Baghdad—Approximately eight mortar or rocket rounds were fired into the Green Zone moments ago. The target appeared to be the Al Rasheed Hotel. None of the rounds hit the target, however onlookers at the scene referred to this as the most intense round of attacks in recent memory.

I was standing at a shuttle stop just outside the Al Rasheed when the rounds hit. The first sounded as if it were at a reasonable distance. But the second was close enough to loosen the fillings in your teeth. The flashes from the detonations were clearly visible from my vantage point, about 100 meters from the hotel. The passengers on the shuttle quickly took refuge in the bomb shelter. A few moments later, the helicopters were in the air.

Many onlookers were surprised that we did not launch an instant rocket response. Generally, attackers cannot get off more than two rounds before we launch a response. There are two theories as to how they got off so many rounds. First, the attack may have involved multiple attackers coordinated from multiple locations. This level of coordination may be an indication of AQ’s involvement. Second, the missiles may have been launched from a highly populated area.

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