Iraq’s military: 1 rocket hits near airport, no casualties
BAGHDAD (AP) — One katyusha rocket landed in the vicinity of Baghdad airport without causing any casualties, the Iraqi military said Monday. It was the most recent in a spate of rocket attacks targeting the American presence in the country since the U.S. launched talks with Iraq earlier this month.
The rocket was launched from a village west of the capital near the Abu Ghraib district, according to a military statement. There were no casualties or significant damages.
The U.S. led coalition maintains a presence in an army base adjacent to the airport. Two Iraqi security officials said the rocket fell far from the base. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
It is the fourth attack to target the U.S. presence in Iraq since Washington and Baghdad embarked on strategic talks on June 11. The attacks are proving to be a key challenge for Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, whose government has promised to take action against militia groups suspected of orchestrating them. The U.S. has blamed Iran-backed militia groups.
The U.S. assassinated Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a drone strike outside of Baghdad airport in January. The incident sparked soaring tensions and soured Iraq-U.S. tensions, prompting mostly Shiite Iraqi lawmakers to pass a non-binding resolution to oust U.S. troops from the country.
The continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is at the forefront of the strategic talks.