Billows of smoke and fire are rising above Baghdad’s skyline after a massive explosion has reportedly engulfed a weapons depot said to be controlled by a pro-Iranian militia in the Iraqi capital.
Stunning footage of the explosion’s aftermath in Dora neighborhood is circulating, which is not far from the sprawling US embassy, which has itself over the past months been targeted in sporadic mortar attacks.
According to The Times of Israel, “Local media reports that the weapons storehouse is owned by the Sayyid of Martyrs Battalions, an Iraqi Shiite militia supported by Tehran.”
Unconfirmed reports suggest the weapons storage facility may have been targeted by ISIS terror cells.
Locals are currently evacuating the area as ammunition explodes in the early evening sky, sending rockets and projectiles flying in all directions and into residential homes.
Sky News Arabia reported that incoming mortar shells set off sirens in the area around the US embassy in Baghdad, known as the Green Zone. — Times of Israel
— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) August 12, 2019
Officials with the Baghdad Operations Command posted a social media statement saying “explosion occurred because of the piling up of ammunition inside the Saqr military base in southern Baghdad.”
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) August 12, 2019
Sirens are going off, with further reports that shells have possibly landed at the US diplomatic compound in the city.
A giant mushroom shaped cloud of black smoke can currently be observed hanging over the southern part of Baghdad. Videos show scenes of what sounds like a war zone.