Reports of new rocket fire surfaced late on Wednesday afternoon, landing in Iraq’s Green Zone, home to the US Embassy and other foreign missions, just hours after US President Donald Trump announced that Iran was standing down after a series of escalations in the region.
VIDEO: Rockets land in the Baghdad Green Zone, fire has broken out pic.twitter.com/y49H2Mxbk7— INTELWAVE (@inteldotwav) January 8, 2020
Oil prices had spiked on Monday following the US killing of Iranian military general Qassem Soleimani last week, which saw Iranian backlash in the form of missile strikes on US military bases in Iraq. But oil prices cooled Tuesday evening on reassurances from President Trump that all was well, and cooled even more on Wednesday afternoon when Trump announced that Iran was standing down. The US President also said that the US would not respond to the Iranian retaliation with military might, but with sanctions instead.
The price of a barrel of WTI went from $63 on Friday, to $65.43 on Tuesday, to $59.36 on Wednesday afternoon.
Then on late Wednesday afternoon, Twitter reports started to come in. Some reports stated that at least one rocket hit 100 meters from the US embassy. No casualties have been reported.
Iraqi military reportedly confirmed that two Katyusha rockets landed inside the Green Zone.
It is unknown at this time who fired the rockets.
At 4:54 pm EST, WTI was trading at $60.03 (-4.26%), while Brent crude was trading at $65.81 (-3.6%).
Several Western oil companies have already evacuated their expatriate staff from Iraq in light of recent tensions in Iraq, and Saudi Arabia’s state-controlled Bahri and Petrobras have both stopped traversing the Strait of Hormuz in light of the region’s unrest. The British Royal Navy will escort all UK-flagged vessel through the critical oil chokepoint for the foreseeable future.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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