Rockets hit near US troops, contractors in Iraq | Military News

In the attacks near Baghdad airport and the Balad air force base, there were neither victims nor an avowal of responsibility.

Several missiles were targeted at two Iraqi military bases that were home to US-led coalition forces and foreign contractors, but no one was injured in the attacks.

The Iraqi Joint Operations Command said in a statement Thursday that an attack near a military base next to Baghdad airport was led by three explosive-laden drones and one of the UAVs was intercepted and destroyed.

Three missiles also hit the Balad air base north of the capital on Wednesday without causing any loss or damage, a military statement said. The base houses foreign military companies.

Attacks on Iraqi bases, particularly those hosting US troops and contractors, have increased since the US assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad in January 2020. Americans typically blame Iranian-backed armed groups for attacking US forces and interests in Iraq.

More than a dozen rocket strikes have hit bases and the heavily fortified Green Zone of Baghdad since President Joe Biden took office this year. At least 10 people were killed, including two foreign contractors.

The Balad Air Force Base is used by the US company Sallyport for the maintenance of F-16 fighter jets of the Iraqi Air Force and has been repeatedly hit by rocket fire.

Another US company, Lockheed Martin, pulled its employees out of the base last month because it was concerned about the safety of its staff.

At least three foreign subcontractors and one Iraqi subcontractor were injured in attacks on Balad.

Since the US-led invasion in 2003, American forces have been operating in Iraq to eliminate dictator Saddam Hussein. US troops stayed there as part of a military coalition formed to combat the armed group ISIL (ISIS) – a campaign the Iraqi government declared won in late 2017.

Missile strikes are seen as a means of pressuring Washington to remove all of its remaining personnel, which Iranian-leaning factions view as an occupying power.

In mid-April, pro-Iranian fighters sent an explosive-filled drone to Erbil airport when such a weapon was first reported to have been used against a US troop base in Iraq.