Rockets hit Iraqi airbase holding USA troops, four soldiers injured

Remigio Civitarese
Gennaio 14, 2020

A volley of rockets hit an Iraqi airbase north of the capital Baghdad on Sunday, injuring four Iraqi air force personnel, the army said.

The US troops are ensuring that the Islamic State extremist group does not re-emerge and "providing an opportunity for the Iraqis to gain the sovereignty and independence that most Iraqis want", Pompeo said.

Seven mortar bombs fell on Sunday inside Iraq's Balad air base, which houses USA forces, and four Iraqi soldiers were wounded in the attack, two military sources told Reuters. No formal claim of responsibility for the attack had been made as of Monday morning.

In a briefing to parliament, Hossein Salami, commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, said the missiles it fired last Wednesday on Iraqi bases hosting USA troops were not aimed at killing American personnel. reports that the latest attack comes just when US President Donald Trump, on Sunday, January 12, gave new conditions to embattled Iran as tension grows over the detention of British ambassador Rob Macaire.

Rouhani said: "Given the importance of security of the region. we've chose to have more consultations and cooperation for the security of the entire region".

Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has accepted that deescalation was the only solution to resolve the crisis with America.

The divergent views follow not only an extremely explosive and unpredictable week, which saw the USA and Iran come to the brink of war, but also mixed assessments in recent months of the progress in training the Iraqi military and eradicating ISIL. One U.S. contractor was killed in such an attack in December.

Following the US's assassination of Soleimani, the Iraqi parliament passed a non-binding resolution last week asking the government to expel foreign troops and to cancel the ongoing request for military assistance from the US-led coalition.

Military bases in Iraq hosting US troops have been targeted by rocket and mortar attacks from Iran-backed militias in recent months.

No one was injured in the attacks, but the Iranian military later shot down a commercial airliner that same night that was carrying 176 people, including 57 Canadians and dozens of others who were flying to Canada.

Trump threatened that the United States forces will not leave unless the Iraqi government paid for the air base America has built there.

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