Three rockets strike near Iraq's Baghdad airport

Three rockets strike near Iraq's Baghdad airport
Three rockets strike near Iraq's Baghdad airport

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - A military complex near Baghdad International Airport came under attack on Wednesday morning when it was targeted with three Katyusha-type rockets, according to Iraq’s military.

The military base is used to house US forces and diplomats and in recent months attacks against US troops have increased around the country.

There were no immediate claim of responsibility, but the Iraqi military said it found a rocket launcher with a timer in a rural area in western Baghdad. There are no reported causalities or damages.

Baghdad’s airport has been closed since March after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

US, UK and Iraqi troops have become the target of rocket attacks for nearly six months. The last attack on a military base hosting foreign troops was in March.

Washington blames Tehran for carrying out such attacks in the past.

Since mid-March the US-led coalition has withdrawn from several bases across Iraq in a planned drawdown.

The coalition transferred four bases to the Iraqi security forces as it consolidates its resources into a smaller number of key locations.

The decision was a result of the victory over ISIS but also in response to repeated attacks that have pushed the US into changing its direction in the country.

The coronavirus outbreak is also thought to be speeding up the process as has halted most training programmes for Iraqi soldiers.

US and Iran tensions have heightened over the last few months in Iraq after the killing of Iranian general Qassem Suleimani and Kataib Hezbollah founder Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis.

They were killed in a US operation in Baghdad in early January, triggering a series of tit-for-tat attacks between the two in Iraq.

Several US soldiers and contractors, as well as a British soldier, have died in attacks since the start of the year.

Wednesday's attack comes as Iraq's parliament is preparing to hold a session to vote on Prime Minister-designate Mustafa Al Kadhimi’s new cabinet.

For months political deadlock has held up the selection of an interim prime minister following the resignation of Adel Abdul Mahdi in November, who has since stayed on as caretaker.

Updated: May 6, 2020 04:00 PM

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