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Rockets Hit Iraq Military Base Near Baghdad Amid US-Iran Tensions

At least four Iraqi soldiers have been wounded when several rockets slammed into an Iraqi airbase north of Baghdad which has housed troops from the United States, according to officials.

In a statement carried by Iraq’s official news agency INA, the Iraqi military media centre said on Sunday the al-Balad airbase, located some 80km away from the capital, was hit by eight Katyusha rockets.

Some projectiles fell on a restaurant inside the airbase, while others hit the runway and the gate, according to Iraqi officials.

So far there has been no claim of responsibility for the attack, which caused no US casualties.

The US-led coalition said there were no US soldiers present at the base during the attack, which has hosted US trainers, advisers and a company that provides maintenance services for F-16 aircraft.

The incident comes amid heightened tensions between the US and Iran following the US assassination of a top Iranian commander in Baghdad and Iran’s retaliatory missile strikes against US targets in Iraq.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned the attack on Sunday .

“Outraged by reports of another rocket attack on an Iraqi airbase,” he said in a Twitter post. “I pray for the speed recovery of the injured and call on the government of Iraq to hold those responsible for these attacks accountable.”

“These continued violations of Iraq’s sovereignty by groups not loyal to the Iraqi government must end,” he added.

 

Read the full article on AlJazeera English, January 13, 2020

Issue: Defense & Security
Country: Iraq

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