U.S. embassy condemns violent attacks on U.S. businesses in Iraq

U.S. embassy condemns violent attacks on U.S. businesses in Iraq

Shafaq News/ The U.S. embassy in Baghdad on Thursday condemned the recent wave of "violent" attacks on international companies in Iraq, urging the government to bring the perpetrators to justice.

"We condemn recent violent attacks against U.S. and international businesses and urge the Government of Iraq to conduct a thorough investigation, bring to justice those who are responsible, and prevent future attacks," an official statement by the embassy said. 

"These attacks endanger Iraqi lives and property and could weaken Iraq's ability to attract foreign investment," it added. "We remain committed to the U.S. Iraq Partnership to build economic opportunities and prosperity for all Iraqis."

A branch of the American company Caterpillar in Al-Jadriya neighborhood and the British Cambridge Institute in Palestine Street were both hit with sound grenades at around 1:30 am local time today.

No casualties were reported.

Two Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurants were also attacked in Baghdad over the weekend, causing damage but no injuries, and Iraqi security forces arrested some suspects, the interior ministry and police sources said on Monday.

Initial investigations showed that the restaurants were targeted over the perceived support of U.S.-based brands for Israel amid the war in the Gaza Strip, police sources said.

The first attack took place early on Sunday when two men on a motorcycle threw a make-shift bomb at a branch of the American KFC restaurant in eastern Baghdad's Palestine Street, causing minor damage, police sources said.

On Monday, another KFC Baghdad branch and a second American-style restaurant were attacked by a group of masked men who broke into the restaurants and used sticks to smash glass and destroy furniture.

They fled before the arrival of security forces, police sources said.

No group claimed responsibility for the attacks.

KFC did not immediately comment on the attacks.

Western brands have been hit by boycotts and other forms of protest by a largely spontaneous, grassroots campaign over Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip since the surprise Hamas attack on Oct. 7.

The actions reflect a groundswell of anger over Israel's military operation that has killed more than 36,000 people in Gaza, according to health authorities there, and caused a humanitarian crisis.

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