Iraq base hosting US-led coalition troops hit by rocket fire

A barrage of rockets has hit a base in Iraq housing US-led coalition troops, Iraqi security officials said, days after a similar attack on the same facility killed two US security personnel and a British soldier.

There was no immediate information about casualties following Saturday’s attack on Camp Taji, just north of the capital, Baghdad.

An Iraqi colonel inside the base told Reuters news agency he heard at least 10 rockets hit the facility and said he could hear sirens blaring.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Wednesday’s attack on the military installation – responsibility for which has not been claimed but the US has blamed on the pro-Iran militia – was the deadliest since a late December assault that killed a US contractor and resulted in a retaliatory offensive that brought the US and Iraq’s neighbour, Iran, to the brink of war.

Overnight on Friday, the US launched a series of retaliatory air raids hitting positions of pro-Iran militia across Iraq’s south, killing five Iraqi security forces and a civilian.

“Since then we’ve heard widespread condemnation by many sides here in Iraq,” Al Jazeera’s Simona Foltyn, reporting from Baghdad, said. “We’ve also heard some of these Iranian-backed groups once again promising to retaliate against US positions herein Iraq.”

Following the US air raids, Iraqi President Barham Salih said on Friday that such “repeated violations” could cause Iraq to unravel into a failed state and revive the ISIL (ISIS) group.

“The repeated violations the state is being subjected to are a dangerous and deliberate weakening of its abilities, especially at a time when Iraq faces unprecedented challenges on political, economic, financial, security, and health fronts,” he said.

Meanwhile, Iraq’s foreign minister summoned the ambassadors of the US and the UK over the deadly overnight air raids.

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