Rockets target Baghdad airport base housing US troops

No casualties reported in the second attack on US interests in Iraq in less than a week.

At least three rockets landed in the perimeter of Baghdad International Airport late on Thursday in the latest attack coinciding with tensions between Baghdad’s allies Tehran and Washington.

Iraqi security officials said on Friday that the rockets landed near the area of the airport housing United States forces. An Iraqi military statement said there were no casualties.

The security forces defused unfired rockets placed on the rooftop of an empty house that was used to launch the attack, the statement said.

It is the second attack on US interests in Iraq in less than a week. On Sunday, five rockets targeted another airbase north of the capital, wounding three Iraqi soldiers and two foreign contractors.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but Washington routinely blames Iran-linked Iraqi factions for such attacks on its troops and diplomats.

Multiple attacks

According to the AFP news agency, the attack was the 23rd bomb or rocket attack against US interests in Iraq – including troops, US embassy in Baghdad or Iraqi supply convoys to foreign forces – since US President Joe Biden took office in January.

Dozens of other attacks were carried out since late 2019 under the administration of former US President Donald Trump.

In mid-April, an explosives-packed drone slammed into Iraq’s Erbil airport in the first reported use of such a weapon against a base used by the US-led coalition troops in the country, officials said.

In February, more than a dozen rockets targeted the military complex inside the same airport.

In the past year, two foreign contractors, one Iraqi contractor and eight Iraqi civilians have been killed in the attacks.

The US has committed to withdrawing all remaining combat forces from Iraq, although the two countries did not set a timeline for what would be a second US withdrawal since the 2003 invasion which toppled Saddam Hussein.

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