A rocket attacked has rocked an Iraqi military base that houses U.S. soldiers near the airport in Baghdad amid heightened tensions around the anniversary of the 2020 killing of a top Iranian general and a senior Iraqi militia leader in a U.S. drone strike.
Iraqi military officials confirmed four Katyusha rockets landed near the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center at the Baghdad International Airport on January 5, adding there were no casualties.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Iraq’s military said in a statement that a rocket launcher had been found in a district in western Baghdad near the airport.
Then-U.S. President Donald Trump ordered a January 3, 2020, strike that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, who headed the elite Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and his Iraqi lieutenant, Abu Hamid al-Muhandis, in response to a spate of attacks against U.S. interests in Iraq.
As the second anniversary of the attack neared, U.S. officials warned repeatedly of possible retaliatory attacks against targets associated with the coalition in both Iraq and Syria.
The coalition fighting the Islamic State in Syria said on January 4 that it had carried out strikes against an “imminent threat” to a U.S. base in northeastern Syria.
Although the U.S.-led international coalition announced the end of its “combat mission” in Iraq in December, some 2,500 U.S. and 1,000 coalition troops remain in the country to advise and train Iraqi security forces.