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Missiles attack Iraqi air base, injuring two soldiers | Middle East News

At least five missiles were aimed at Balad Air Base, north of Baghdad, which hosts US contractors and Iraqi security forces.

The Iraqi army said at least five rockets had hit the Iraqi army’s air base in Balad, north of Baghdad, injuring two Iraqi soldiers.

Earlier, security officials said the Katyusha missile fell to the base area with US contractors, and no casualties were reported.

Neither group immediately announced Sunday’s attacks, but armed groups that some Iraqi officials say are Iran-backed have claimed similar incidents in the past.

US officials have blamed the Iranian-backed militia for frequent missile attacks against US facilities in Iraq, including the US Embassy in Baghdad.

The last attack on Balad airbase was on 4 April, when at least two rockets landed in the surrounding sparsely populated area.

F-16s are stationed at the airbase and several maintenance companies are also present, employing Iraqi and foreign personnel.

The attack happened a few days after The drone is full of explosives Targeted US-led coalition forces near an airfield in northern Iraq, causing a massive fire and damage to a building.

The incident is the latest in a series of attacks targeting major US facilities in Iraq in recent weeks.

There have been around 20 bomb or missile attacks against US interests, including bases with US troops, since US President Joe Biden took office in January.

Dozens more have taken place since the fall of 2019 under the administration of Donald Trump.

US forces withdrew from Iraq in 2011 but returned in 2014 at the invitation of Iraq to help fight ISIL (ISIS) after the group occupied large areas in the north and west of the country.

By the end of 2020, the number of US troops in Iraq had fallen to 2,500 people after the withdrawal of troops under the orders of the Trump administration.

Calls for an increase in U.S. demand for withdrawal after a US-directed drone attack kills Iranians Total Qassem Soleimani and an Iraqi militia leader in Baghdad in January 2020.

Last month, a US-led base in western Iraq was hit by 10 rockets. A contractor was killed.

Last week, the US pledged to withdraw all remaining combat forces from Iraq, although the two countries did not set a timeline for the second US withdrawal since the 2003 invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.

The announcement comes as the Biden administration resumes “strategic dialogue” with the government of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who is considered too close to Washington by pro-Iran groups.



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