New rockets hit Iraq air base hosting US troops
New Delhi : Reports are coming in with the information that a fresh set of rockets have slammed into an Iraqi airbase north of Baghdad where US forces have been based. Four local troops have been injured in the attack on January 12.
A statement claimed that eight Katyusha-type rockets landed on Al-Balad airbase, wounding two Iraqi officers and two airmen.
Al-Balad is the main airbase for Iraq's F-16s, which it bought from the US to upgrade its air capacities.
The base used to have a small US Air Force contingent as well as American contractors, but a major section of the officials were removed from the site after tension between the two nations had escalated on January 3.
"About 90 per cent of the US advisers, and employees of Sallyport and Lockheed Martin who are specialised in aircraft maintenance, have withdrawn to Taji and Erbil after threats," one of the sources said.
"There are no more than 15 US soldiers and a single plane at al-Balad," the source added.
Iraqi military bases having US troops have been a target for Iran since last couple of days.
Pro-Iran factions in Iraq have vowed revenge for those raids, even as Iran said it had already responded in "proportion" by striking another western airbase where US soldiers are located.
Rocket attacks against Baghdad's high-security Green Zone, where the US and other embassies are based alongside international troops, are still taking place.