3 rockets hit Baghdad airport base housing US troops: report

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Last year, two foreign entrepreneurs, an Iraqi entrepreneur and eight Iraqis were killed (Representation)

Baghdad:

Three rockets crashed into an airport base in the Iraqi capital housing US troops on Friday, security sources said, in the latest attack to coincide with tensions between allies in Baghdad, Tehran and Washington.

One of the sources told TBEN that the projectiles hit the section of the air base occupied by Iraqi troops, who share the base with soldiers deployed by Washington as part of the anti-jihadist coalition led by the Iraqi troops. United States.

An Iraqi soldier was injured, the source added.

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

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

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Friday is the 23rd bomb or rocket attack on US interests in Iraq – including troops, the Baghdad embassy or Iraqi supply convoys to foreign forces – since US President Joe Biden took office in January.

Dozens of other strikes were carried out from fall 2019 under the administration of former US President Donald Trump.

In mid-April, a drone filled with explosives struck Iraq’s Arbil airport in the first reported use of such a weapon against a base used by US-led coalition troops in the countries, officials said.

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

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

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Iranian-American tensions

The operations are sometimes claimed by obscure groups that experts see as smokescreens for Iranian-backed organizations that have long been in Iraq.

Qais al-Khazali, a senior pro-Iran official in the state-sponsored Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force, recently said the “resistance” was carrying out attacks and would escalate them “unless the United States withdrew. all their fighting forces from everywhere. Iraq “.

Pro-Iranian groups have stepped up their rhetoric, vowing to step up attacks to expel US “occupying” forces, and there have been almost daily attacks on coalition supply convoys across the predominantly Shiite south.

In April, the United States pledged to withdraw all remaining combat forces from Iraq, although the two countries did not set a timeline for what would be a second U.S. withdrawal since the 2003 invasion that took overthrown Saddam Hussein.

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The attack also comes amid heightened tensions around Iran’s nuclear program.

The remaining partners of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal have engaged in talks to bring the United States back to the deal it pulled out of under Trump and lift the sanctions it reimposed on Iran, as well as to ensure the return of Tehran to the nuclear engagements which it cut in retaliation. .

Tehran and Washington, sworn enemies, have both been present in Iraq since 2003, where 2,500 American troops are still deployed and Iran sponsors Hashed al-Shaabi.

Tensions have reached the brink of war, especially after Trump ordered a drone strike near Baghdad airport in January 2020 that killed senior Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by The Bharat Express News staff and is posted Platforms.)

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