Friday, 21 February 2020

Rockets hit Iraq military base where US troops presence

Updated: January 13, 2020 11:16 am

A volley of rockets slammed into an Iraqi airbase north of Baghdad where US forces have been based. Iraqi military said, eight Katyusha-type rockets landed on Al-Balad airbase yesterday, wounding two Iraqi officers and two airmen.

Al-Balad is the main airbase for Iraq’s F-16s, which it bought from the US to upgrade its air capacities. The base had held a small US Air Force contingent as well as American contractors, but a majority had been evacuated following tensions between the US and Iran over the past two weeks.

About 90 percent of the US advisers, and employees of Sallyport and Lockheed Martin who are specialised in aircraft maintenance, have withdrawn to Taji and Erbil after threats. Military bases hosting US troops have been subject to volleys of rocket and mortar attacks in recent months that have mostly wounded Iraqi forces, but also killed one American contractor last month.

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