Dr Mike Evans

Rocket strikes Iraqi airbase housing US troops in third consecutive day of attacks

A Katyusha rocket struck a military base in Iraq where US troops were stationed at Baghdad’s international airport yesterday, according to a statement from the Iraqi military. No injuries were reported.

“US Army Col. Wayne Marotto, spokesman for the US-led international military coalition, tweeted that initial reports suggested the attack took place at 2:45 p.m. He said the damage was being assessed,” Reuters reported.

The attack was the third in three consecutive days targeting US troops in the area. On Tuesday, US forces in Iraq stopped a second armed drone attack targeting the area in Baghdad.

“Two explosive-laden drones were shot down on Tuesday by Iraq’s air defenses as they approached the Ain al-Asad Air Base, which hosts US forces west of Baghdad, a coalition official said.

Two armed drones were also shot down on Monday as they approached a military base housing US forces near Baghdad’s international airport.

The attacks were likely associated with the January 3 two-year-anniversary of the assassination of Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani by a US drone strike at the Baghdad airport ordered by then-president Donald Trump.

In 2020, US forces reportedly killed two top Iranian military commanders involved in terrorism in Iraq, in an airstrike in what analysts said was a significantly bigger deal than the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The first drone attack on Monday also occurred on the same day that Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi spoke about Soleimani’s death. Raisi claimed Trump must be put on trial for the general’s death.

The concerning developments add an increased sense of urgency as leaders in Israel and the US seek to thwart Iran’s development of nuclear weapons.