Following earlier attacks on KFC branches, Chili House restaurant

Attacks target Caterpillar dealership and British Cambridge Institute in Baghdad

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s Security Media Cell reported that two attacks were carried out Thursday morning targeting a Caterpillar dealership and the Cambridge Institute in Baghdad.

Caterpillar, the world’s largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, was founded nearly 100 years ago in California, U.S.

At 1:20 a.m., the first grenade exploded in front of the Caterpillar company located in the Al-Jadriya area. Ten minutes later, a second grenade went off in front of the British Cambridge Institute on Palestine Street, a residential area of Baghdad. The institute is not affiliated with the University of Cambridge nor with the British government.

The Security Media Cell described these attacks as “desperate attempts to tarnish Iraq’s reputation, the country’s tangible progress in reconstruction, service to its citizens, and the status and sacrifices of our security forces.”

“The heroic security forces, through their various units and intelligence agencies, will pursue and apprehend anyone who disrupts security, societal peace, and violates laws and public and private properties,” the statement added.

These incidents are part of a series of recent attacks on American companies and institutions in Baghdad, which are linked to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza and the United States’ support for Israel. This series includes attacks on two KFC branches in the past few days, with one involving suspects who threw an explosive device at the storefront of a KFC on Palestine Street.

The motive behind the attack is yet to be determined by authorities, though the chain is among many American fast food brands targeted by boycotts and protests in Iraq.

Less than 24 hours later, masked individuals wearing civilian clothes and caps attacked the KFC branch in the Jadriya area of Baghdad.

American branded franchise Chili House also faced an attack.

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Alina Romanowski condemned the attacks: “We condemn recent violent attacks against U.S. and international businesses and urge the Government of Iraq 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.”

Following the attacks, Interior Minister Abdul Amir Al-Shammari has ordered repairs for damaged restaurants.

Authorities report that several attackers have been arrested, and investigations are underway to determine their motives.

“These acts by misguided individuals harm the country’s interests and disrupt investment efforts, which the government has worked hard to achieve. While the state strives to attract investments and develop the economy, some perpetrators mistakenly believe they are punishing certain countries by damaging their interests,” the Interior Ministry stated on Monday.

“In reality, these illegal actions harm Iraq’s reputation and aim to destabilize security and economic growth. They must be condemned and those responsible isolated,” he concluded.

This article has been updated to include comment from Ambassador Romanowski