One particular person wounded as a number of rockets strike Iraq’s Balad airbase the place a US defence firm has its headquarters.
At least 4 rockets struck an Iraqi airbase on Saturday night time, the Iraqi navy stated in an announcement, whereas different officers stated one particular person was wounded on the base the place a United States defence firm providers fight plane.
The wounded particular person labored for the US firm, the Associated Press information company reported, citing 4 officers who spoke on situation of anonymity. No group instantly claimed the assault on Balad airbase in Salah al-Din province.
Jamal Akab, the media spokesman for the province, informed native media the missiles landed “near the perimeter of the airbase in an open area”.
In January 2020, the bottom, which lies about 80km north of the capital, Baghdad, was attacked by eight Katyusha rockets, wounding 4 members of the Iraqi air pressure, together with two officers.
US defence firm Sallyport has its headquarters throughout the airbase, and at present has 46 personnel there contracted to offer providers to assist Iraq’s F-16 programme.
The US has beforehand evacuated a few of its contractors from the bottom for safety causes.
It was the second salvo of rockets to hit a base internet hosting US forces or contractors in lower than every week. Armed teams that some Iraqi officers say are backed by Iran have claimed related incidents prior to now.
Last week, one international civilian contractor was killed and 9 others wounded after a volley of missile assaults on the navy base inside Erbil’s airport, within the Kurdish-controlled area in northern Iraq.
The assault was claimed by a little-known armed group that known as itself Awliya al-Dam – or the Guardians of the Blood. Iraqi officers stated the group had ties with the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) – the Iraqi paramilitaries established in 2014 from principally Shia militia teams to battle the ISIL (ISIS) group.
Saturday’s assault comes after NATO introduced it might dramatically scale up its mission in Iraq from 500 personnel to 4,000 to battle the remnants of ISIL (ISIS), Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated this week. The enhance comes as US-led coalition troops have step by step decreased their presence in Iraq during the last yr.
NATO’s coaching mission was launched in 2018 to assist the conflict-ravaged nation develop new academies and navy colleges for its armed forces. It was initially positioned within the capital, Baghdad, and in neighbouring Jordan.