ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Three missiles landed late Friday inside the sprawling Baghdad International Airport complex near a military base that houses American troops, amid an uptick in such attacks targeting US interests and facilities hosting American personnel.
It resulted in no casualties, according to an announcement from the Iraqi military communications center known as the Security Media Cell (SMC). The strike follows a series of bombings and similar attacks on various US or US-affiliated targets in the country.
Earlier on Friday, an explosive device blew up on a convoy of a contractor company working with the International anti-ISIS Coalition in southern parts of Iraq. This incident occurred near the Diwaniya bridge in southern Iraq’s al-Qadisiyyah province and resulted in no casualties or significant damage, the SMC said in a brief statement posted on social media.
Recent weeks have seen a string of other attacks on facilities hosting US troops, including one that occurred on Thursday in which the SMC said that three Katyusha rockets landed in the Balad airbase, also without resulting in any losses.
The Balad airbase is about 65 kilometers north of Baghdad and has been the site of many previous strikes which the US government has blamed on the notorious Kata’ib Hizbollah, the strongest Shia militia group in Iraq backed by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
On Wednesday, another bombing hit a convoy operating in Dhi Qar province’s al-Batha area, also belonging to a company contracted by the US-led Coalition. It led to “the burning of one of the vehicles,” the SMC said at the time.
A security source told Kurdistan 24 that the convoy, carrying logistical support equipment, was heading to Basra province from Baghdad via the international highway west of Nasiriyah, Dhi Qar. Previous incidents earlier in the week also led to material damage but did not cause human casualties.
As attacks mounted in late 2019, culminating in one that killed a US civilian contractor and wounded American service members, the US responded by assassinating then IRGC-Quds Force Commander Qasim Soleimani and the deputy chairman of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was also the leader of Kata’ib Hizbollah.
Since the death of the two senior leaders, multiple armed groups have sprung up that have promised to avenge them, most famous among them one calling itself Usbat al-Thaireen that has also claimed responsibility for attacks on US forces.
Security sources have told Kurdistan 24, however, that these groups are just fronts for Kata’ib Hizbollah cells coordinating anti-US attacks.
Iran-aligned armed groups—many of which the US has designated as terrorist organizations including Kata’ib Hizbollah—have long been engaged in efforts to expel foreign troops from Iraqi territory. Thousands of US forces remain stationed in Iraq, leading the Coalition’s ongoing fight against members of the so-called Islamic State.
After the territorial collapse of the Islamic State, political representatives of such groups gained increased clout in Baghdad, with one alliance coming second in the 2018 national vote.
They have used their influence in the government to similarly push for the expulsion of foreign troops in the Coalition that have been training Iraqi forces in the fight against terrorist groups.[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]