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Rockets target military base housing US forces at Baghdad airport

In this file picture, US soldiers are seen during a handover ceremony of Taji military base from US-led coalition troops to Iraqi security forces in the base, north of Baghdad, Iraq. (Photo by Reuters)

Several rockets have reportedly struck a major base at Baghdad International Airport, where American military forces and trainers are stationed,. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties. 

Sabereen News, a Telegram news channel associated with Iraqi anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units – better known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi – reported that at least six projectiles struck the Victory Base on Friday morning.

An Iraqi security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Iraq's Arabic-language Shafaq news agency that the rocket attack took place at around 4:30 a.m. local time  (0130 GMT).

He noted that Iraqi counter-rocket, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) systems could intercept a number of the incoming projectiles.

Sabereen News added that the rockets damaged an abandoned civilian aircraft.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet, which is the latest in a series of assaults that have targeted US occupation forces over the past few months.

The incident came as anti-American sentiments have been on the rise in Iraq since the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), his Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), and their companions in a US drone strike authorized by former president Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.

Two days after the attack, Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill that requires the government to end the presence of all foreign military forces led by the US in the country.

Both commanders were highly revered across the Middle East because of their key role in fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.

On January 8, 2020, the IRGC targeted the US-run Ain al-Asad in Iraq’s western province of Anbar after launching a wave of attacks to retaliate the assassination of General Soleimani.

According to the Pentagon, more than 100 American forces suffered “traumatic brain injuries” during the counterstrike on the base. The IRGC, however, says Washington uses the term to mask the number of the Americans who perished during the retaliation.

Iran has described the missile attack on Ain al-Assad as a “first slap.”

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