By Nafiseh Kohnavard
BBC Persian, Union III airbase, Baghdad

Publishedduration24 JanuaryRelated Topics

  • Iraq protests

image copyrightUS armyimage captionUS troops are in Iraq to help in the fight against the Islamic State group

"Incoming, Incoming!" The loudspeaker screeches out a warning of a rocket attack at Union III, the US-led coalition base in Iraq's capital, Baghdad.

The compound is in the Green Zone, an area built around what was once former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's palace.

A few seconds after the first alarm, we hear two loud explosions. Then another announcement, ordering everyone in the base to take cover.

Just across the road lies the US embassy, the likely target of the three Katyusha rockets.

After an hour, we are told it is safe enough to come out. One rocket fell into the nearby Tigris river, but two landed inside the embassy compound.

"This isn't the first and won't be the last," says Pari, a 42-year-old civilian, who lives and works at the base as a hairdresser to support her daughters back home in Kyrgyzstan.