Rockets strike military base in Iraq housing US forces: Iraqi military

At least four Katyusha rockets hit the Iraqi air base of Balad north of Baghdad, which houses US personnel, Iraq’s state media reported on Saturday citing the military.

The Iraqi report did not mention any injuries or deaths and did not say who was behind the attack.

Balad base hosts US forces and contractors and is located about 80 kilometers north of Baghdad.

The strike comes days after the US Coalition in Iraq said on Monday a rocket attack at a US-led military base in Kurdish northern Iraq killed a civilian contractor and injured six other people including a US service member.

Monday’s attack was the deadliest to hit US-led forces for almost a year in Iraq, where tensions have escalated between US forces, their Iraqi and Kurdish allies on one side and Iran-aligned militias on the other.

The US has urged Iraq’s leaders to work on preventing attacks on foreign targets in the country, after a rocket attack targeted the American embassy’s compound in the Green Zone in Baghdad in December.

The Balad base rocket strike comes after NATO announced it would dramatically scale up its mission in Iraq from 500 personnel to 4,000, in order to battle the remnants of the ISIS terrorist group.

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