Iranian rocket hits site of US oil firm in Iraq’s Basra

Iranian rocket hits site of US oil firm in Iraq's Basra

A rocket hit the site of several global major oil companies, including US giant ExxonMobil, near Iraq’s southern city of Basra early on Wednesday, wounding three Iraqi workers.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. It came after two separate attacks in as many days on bases housing US military personnel in Iraq, as tensions escalate between the United States and Iran.

Iranian rocket hits site of foreign oil firms in Iraq's Basra (3) Iranian rocket hits site of foreign oil firms in Iraq's Basra (2)

The United States evacuated hundreds of diplomatic staff from its Baghdad embassy last month over a ‘credible threat’ by Iran or Iranian proxies.

Today’s attack came just as Exxon staff who were also evacuated after the diplomats’ departure had begun to return to Basra. A security source said Exxon was evacuating 21 foreign staff immediately by plane to Dubai.

Iranian rocket hits site of foreign oil firms in Iraq's Basra (4) Iranian rocket hits site of foreign oil firms in Iraq's Basra (5)

Oil officials said operations including exports from southern Iraq were not affected by the incident.  Other companies operating at the site include Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Italy’s Eni SpA, the oil officials said.

The rocket was a short-range Katyusha missile, the military said. Police said it landed 100 meters from the part of the site used as a residence and operations center by Exxon.