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At least three rockets land in Iraqi base housing US troops: Security sources

Published: Updated:

Three rockets crashed into a base at the Baghdad airport housing US troops on Friday, wounding an Iraqi soldier, security sources told AFP.

One of the sources said the projectiles hit the section of the airbase occupied by Iraqi troops, who share the base with soldiers deployed by Washington as part of the US-led anti-ISIS coalition.

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It is the second attack on US interests in Iraq in less than a week. On Sunday, five rockets targeted another airbase north of the capital, wounding three Iraqi soldiers and two foreign contractors.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the strike, but Washington routinely blames Iran-linked Iraqi factions for such attacks on its troops and diplomats.

Friday's attack was the 23rd against American interests -- including troops, the Baghdad embassy or Iraqi supply convoys to foreign forces -- since US President Joe Biden took office in January.

Two Americans and an Iraqi civilian have been killed in the attacks.

An Iraqi civilian working for a firm maintaining US fighter jets for the Iraqi air force was also wounded in one attack.

The operations are sometimes claimed by obscure groups which experts say are smokescreens for Iranian-backed organizations long present in Iraq.

Qais al-Khazali, a senior pro-Iran figure in the state-sponsored Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force, recently declared that the “resistance” was carrying out attacks and would step them up “unless the US withdraws all its combat forces from across Iraq.”

Read more: US will not be drawn into military confrontation with Iran: CENTCOM chief