Rockets attack Iraqi Air Force base, injuring two security forces

Baghdad (AP) — According to Iraqi military commanders, two Iraqi security forces were injured in a rocket collision at an Iraqi Air Force base just north of the capital, Baghdad, on Sunday.

In a comment to Iraq’s official news agency, Maj. Gen. Deer Mosen, commander of the Ballad Air Force Base, said at least two rockets had exploded inside the base containing US trainers. The attack occurs days after an explosive-laden drone targeted a US-led coalition near an airport in northern Iraq, causing a major fire and damage to buildings.

According to Mosen, the attack injured two security forces, one in serious condition and the other in minor condition. He added that the attack did not cause any property damage to the base.

The incident has been the latest in a series of attacks in recent weeks, primarily targeting US facilities in Iraq. Although there were no imminent claims of responsibility, US officials had previously accused the Iranian-backed Iraqi militia faction of such attacks.

US troops withdrew from Iraq in 2011, but returned in 2014 at the invitation of Iraq to support the fight against Islamic State groups after Iraq occupied vast areas in the northern and western parts of the country. In late 2020, Iraq’s US military level dropped to 2,500 after withdrawal under orders from the Trump administration.

Further calls for US withdrawal increased after Iran’s General Kasem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leaders were killed in Baghdad in January 2020 in a US-led drone strike.

Last month, a base in western Iraq, which houses US-led Allied forces and contractors, was hit by 10 rockets. One contractor was killed.