BAGHDAD, May 30 — The US ambassador to Iraq denounced attacks today targeting Western-linked brands in Baghdad this week, as anger grows across the Middle East over Israel’s war in Gaza.

A stun bomb exploded at 1.20 am in front of a dealership of the US construction equipment company Caterpillar in the Jadriyah neighbourhood of Baghdad, the Iraqi security forces said.

Ten minutes later, a blast went off in front of the Cambridge Institute in nearby Palestine Street, which a resident identified as a likely Iraqi-owned language learning centre.

On Sunday, a makeshift bomb was thrown at a branch of the US fast-food chain KFC, causing minor damage. The next night, masked men broke into another branch, smashing glass.


“We condemn recent violent attacks against US and international businesses,” the US ambassador to Baghdad, Alina Romanowski, said on social media platform X.

She urged the Iraqi government to “conduct a thorough investigation, bring to justice those who are responsible, and prevent future attacks”.

“These attacks endanger Iraqi lives and property, and could weaken Iraq’s ability to attract foreign investment,” the US diplomat added.


The Iraqi security forces said today’s attacks, whose motives remained unknown, did not cause any damage or injuries, adding they were a “desperate attempt to harm Iraq’s reputation”.

After the KFC attacks, security forces said they had arrested several suspects.

Since the war in Gaza started in October, a boycott movement spearheaded by pro-Palestinian activists has targeted major Western brands, such as Starbucks and McDonald’s.

Iraq does not recognise Israel’s statehood, and all of its political parties support the Palestinian cause.

Earlier this week, influential Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr renewed his calls to close the US embassy in Baghdad “through diplomatic means without bloodshed”, after an Israeli strike killed dozens of civilians in a camp in Gaza. — AFP