Seven rockets hit Army base in Iraq's Salahudin province, two injured

Seven rockets hit Army base in Iraq's Salahudin province, two injured

Agency News

Baghdad, Jan 12: Seven Katyusha rockets on Sunday shook the Balad airbase, which previously housed US troops, in Iraq's central province of Salahudin,around 90 km from here, injuring two Iraqi soldiers, a provincial security source said.

Besides the injuries, some nearby buildings were also damaged, the source told news agency Xinhua, on the condition of anonymity.

So far, no group has taken responsibility for the attack.

The base is the largest military air base in the country, which is known by the US forces as the Logistics Support Activity (LSA) Anaconda.

The airbase was housing a number of US troops and advisors of an American company operating the Iraqi F-16 jet fighters, but they withdrew about a week ago after the international US-led coalition announced the suspension of its operations against the Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq, the agency further reported.

The attack came a few days after Qais al-Khazali, leader of the Iraqi Iran-backed Shiite militia Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq, said the Iranian initial response to the killing of the Iranian military leader is done and it is time for Iraq to respond to the US airstrike.

Al-Khazali's threat came after Iran fired ballistic missiles earlier in the day on military bases housing US troops in Iraq's western province of Anbar and near the city of Erbil, capital of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan.

Last week, Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy chief of Iraq's paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces, were killed in a US drone attack outside Baghdad International Airport.

More than 5,000 US soldiers have been deployed in Iraq to support the Iraqi militia in the battles against Islamic State (IS) militants. (UNI)