Rockets hit Iraq’s Green Zone, US-led coalition leaves base Mar 27, 2020 0 361 12345 AFPQayyarah Base, IraqTwo rockets slammed into the Iraqi capital’s high-security Green Zone early Thursday, hours before US-led forces were set to pull out of a second base in the country.Some 7,500 foreign troops are in Iraq as part of the US-led coalition helping local troops fight jihadist remnants, but those numbers are being significantly drawn down this month.The alliance is temporarily bringing some trainers home as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus pandemic and is also leaving some Iraqi bases altogether.Those bases and foreign embassies, particularly the American mission, have been targeted in more than two dozen rocket strikes since late October.The attacks, which the US has blamed on an Iran-backed armed group, have prompted fears of a proxy war on Iraqi soil.Before dawn on Thursday, two rockets punched into an empty square near an Iraqi security headquarters in the Green Zone, where government buildings and foreign embassies are based, Iraqi security forces said in a statement.An Iraqi security source told AFP the intended target appeared to be the US embassy, a sprawling compound a few hundred metres (yards) further south on the banks of the Tigris.There were no reports of casualties, but other attacks have been deadly. Earlier this month, two US military personnel and a British soldier were killed in a rocket attack on Taji airbase north of Baghdad, that was hit again two days later.The 5,200 US troops stationed across Iraqi bases make up the bulk of the coalition force helping hunt down Islamic State group sleeper cells across the country.Iraq declared IS defeated in late 2017, and the coalition is now implementing plans developed last year to consolidate its troop presence across the country. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Iran reports 157 new virus deaths, imposes intercity ban Mar 27, 2020 0 345 Public distrust hampers Africa fight against virus misinformation Mar 27, 2020 0 43 Warring sides in Yemen back calls for coronavirus ceasefire Mar 27, 2020 0 229 Tunisia workers isolate in factory making anti-virus gear AFP Tunis In Tunisia, 150 people -- mostly women -- have isolated themselves in a factory for a month to make protective gear like masks to help their country’s fight against coronavirus. Due to strict measures to prevent .. US grants Iraq shortest sanctions waiver yet for Iran gas Baghdad The United States on Thursday granted Iraq a 30-day waiver to keep importing Iranian gas despite American sanctions, two Iraqi officials told AFP, the shortest extension yet. The US slapped tough sanctions on .. Iran says missing ex-FBI agent left country ‘years ago’ Tehran Iran implicitly denied on Thursday that a missing former FBI agent had died in its custody as his family claims, restating its longstanding position that he left the Islamic republic “years ago”. US President .. Gantz calls for ‘emergency unity govt’ AFP Jerusalem Israel’s ex-military chief Benny Gantz called for an emergency unity government after being elected parliament speaker Thursday, likely leading to an alliance with his rival Prime Minister Benjamin .. South Africa’s COVID-19 cases climb to 927: official Johannesburg South Africa’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases rose sharply on Thursday to 927 from 709 the previous day, on the eve of a three-week lockdown, the government said. “As of today, the confirmed cases of .. Mali opposition leader kidnapped ahead of parliamentary poll Bamako Mali’s government said on Thursday that leading opposition figure Soumaila Cisse had been kidnapped in West African nation’s volatile centre, just days before a long-delayed parliamentary poll. In an .. 18 die in road crash during Egypt’s coronavirus curfew Cairo Eighteen people were killed when a truck crashed into several cars south of the Egyptian capital during a night-time curfew put in place because of the coronavirus outbreak, state television reported on Thursday. ..