Iran-Backed Militia Fires 7 Rockets Into Iraqi Airbase Hosting US Troops

Iran-linked militant factions fired as many as seven rockets into an Iraqi airbase that houses US troops on Monday, in the latest escalation in the tenuous Iran-US conflict in the region.

The Al-Balad airbase in northern Baghdad was attacked on Monday evening, security sources said. The attack did not cause any casualties or damage inside the US airbase.

Launched From Diyala

More rockets rained down in village outside the airbase. All the rockets were launched from a province neighboring Diyala, which is east of the base, AFP reported, citing sources.

Baghdad Green Zone
Baghdad Green Zone Wikimedia Commons

No one claimed responsibility for the attack. The airbase hosting the US forces have been targeted several times in the recent past.

In February, foreign troops stationed in Iraq's Irbil were also targeted with rocket fire, which killed at least one personnel and injured five more. The US troops are stationed in Irbil as part of international efforts to fight Islamic State (Isis) terrorists.

The attack in Irbil was deadliest strike at US forces in a in a year, while in early March, a US sub-contractor was killed in an attack on the Ain Al-Assad airbase in western Iraq.

Guardians of Blood

The shadowy terror outfit named 'Awliyaa al-Dam, or 'Guardians of Blood', had taken responsibility for the attack.

Black skies of Mosul captured through lens (PHOTOS)
Armed members of Shi'ite militia Hashid Shaabi ride a motorbike near Qayyara, south of Mosul. Smoke in the background is from burning oilfields set ablazed by Islamic State fighters. Reuters

US Airstrike Syrian Targets

In late last month, the US military launched airstrikes against Iran-backed targets in eastern Syria. The strikes in Syria were a response to the recent rocket attacks against US targets in Iraq. The US defense headquarters said the strikes targeted multiple facilities at a border control point used by Iranian-backed militant groups, such as Kata'ib Hezbollah (KH) and Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS).

In January last year, Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two United States military bases in Iraq. The strikes followed the death of more than 35 people during a stampede at the funeral of top Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, who was killed by the US drone strike in Baghdad last week.