Remnants of a drone fired by Iranian proxy militias at US targets in Iraq. January 5, 2022

Remnants of a drone fired by Iranian proxy militias at US targets in Iraq. January 5, 2022

Katyusha Rockets Land On Largest Iraqi Airbase

3/18/2022

The Iraqi Security Media Cell said Thursday that four Katyusha rockets had struck Iraq’s largest military airbase 90km north of Baghdad in Salahuddin province.

Colonel Mohammed al-Bazi of the provincial police said the attack on Balad had caused no casualties but that three of the rockets had hit one of the base’s buildings, leaving minor damage, while the fourth landed in an open area. The base hosts Iraqi F-16 jets, while United States security contactors have reportedly left what was once the major hub for in-coming US munitions.

The Iraqi Security Media Cell, which calls itself a counter to the propaganda of Daesh, the Islamic state group, claimed the rockets were launched from Khalis district, some 20-25km away, in neighboring Diyala province.

The cell blamed this “cowardly terrorist act” on “gangs that do not want stability for Iraq” who it said would be “put behind bars…under the judgment of the law.”

No group has claimed responsibility. The Kurdish news agency Rudaw notedthat “similar attacks on international targets in Iraq are blamed on Iran-backed Iraqi militias who want to force American forces to withdraw from the country.” Rudaw said such attacks “increased after the US assassinated Iranian General Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Baghdad in January 2020.”

On Sunday, Iran fired 12 ballistic missiles at Erbil, northern Iraq, after an Israeli airstrike in Syria killed two Iranian soldiers. A villa, Iran alleged was used by Israeli intelligence, was damaged but there were no casualties.

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