At least four Iraqi soldiers have been injured in mortar shelling targeting Al-Balad airbase housing American troops. The facility has become a frequent target of attacks in the wake of the US killing of a top Iranian commander.
At least eight ‘Katyusha’ rockets hit the base located some 80 kilometers north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, the prime minister’s office has confirmed. The rockets allegedly struck a runaway located inside the facility, military sources earlier told Reuters.
There have been no reports of any casualties among the US military personnel.
US bases in Iraq were also hit by a ballistic missile attack from Iran on January 8. The move almost put the two nations on the brink of war, but a large-scale conflict was eventually avoided.
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.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi also asked US State Secretary Mike Pompeo to send a delegation to begin preparations for a troop pullout. Washington, however, made it clear that it would not discuss any withdrawal plans, calling the US presence on Iraqi soil “appropriate.”
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