DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The Latest on developments in the Persian Gulf region and elsewhere in the Mideast amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran (all times local):
Two influential Shiite figures in Iraq are warning from pulling their country into a war between the United States and Iran, saying it would turn Iraq into a battlefield and inflict much harm.
Their comments came few hours after a rocket was fired into the Iraqi capital’s heavily fortified Green Zone, landing less than a mile from the sprawling U.S. Embassy. No injuries were reported.
Iraq’s populist Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said in a statement on Monday that any political party that would involve Iraq in a U.S.-Iran war “would be the enemy of the Iraqi people.”
Qais al-Khazali, the leader of an Iranian-backed group, said he is opposed to operations that “give pretexts for war.”
As U.S.-Iran tensions escalate, there’ve been concerns that Baghdad could once again get caught in the middle.
A Saudi-owned satellite news channel says Yemen’s Houthi rebels have fired two missiles into the kingdom that later were intercepted.
Al-Arabiya reported on Monday that the two missiles were intercepted over the city of Taif and the Red Sea port city of Jiddah.
The channel cited witnesses for the information. The Saudi government has yet to acknowledge the missile fire, which other Saudi media also reported.
The Houthis made no official claims to the missile fire.
Between the two cities is Mecca, home to the cube-shaped Kaaba that Muslims pray toward five times a day. Many religious pilgrims are now in the city amid the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk.
President Donald Trump has warned Iran not to threaten the U.S. again or it’ll face its “official end,” shortly after a rocket landed near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad overnight.
The tweet comes amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran, the culmination of Trump’s decision a year ago to pull America out of Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.
Trump’s tweeted early Monday: “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!”
Trump did not elaborate, nor did the White House. However, the tweet came after a rocket landed less than a mile from the sprawling U.S. Embassy in Baghdad in the Iraqi capital’s heavily fortified Green Zone Sunday night.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the rocket launch.