Iraqi F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off at Balad Air Base, Iraq 130120 CREDIT US Air Force_0.jpg
Iraq

Iraqi Soldiers Wounded As Air Base Hosting US Troops Is Attacked

Four were injured in the attack on the air base which is around 50 miles north of Baghdad.

Iraqi F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off at Balad Air Base, Iraq 130120 CREDIT US Air Force_0.jpg

Four members of Iraq's military have been wounded in a rocket attack on an air base 50 miles north of Baghdad, where American trainers are present, Iraqi security officials said.

At least six rockets were involved in the attack on Sunday, just days after Iran fired ballistic missiles at two bases in Iraq that houses UK and US forces, causing no casualties.

Recent heightened tensions between the US and Iran were sparked last month when a rocket attack killed an American contractor at a base in Iraq.

The US has blamed that attack and others on Iran-backed militias.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The rockets struck Balad Air Base, which hosts American trainers, advisers and a company that provides maintenance services for F-16 aircraft.

Some rockets fell on a restaurant inside the air base, the officials said.

A statement from the Iraqi army's official media office confirmed the attack but said eight rockets hit the base, and that two officers had been wounded. The difference in accounts could no immediately be reconciled.

"There are American experts, trainers and advisers at the base," said one official.

The US and Iran recently stepped back from escalating tensions following the killing of General Qassem Soleimani in a US airstrike in Baghdad.

A senior Iraqi leader of an Iran-backed militia was also killed.

Iran's retaliatory attack for Gen Soleimani's death hit two Iraqi bases, Ain al-Asad and Irbil, where American troops are based.

The limited Iranian strikes appeared to be mainly a show of force, and deescalated tensions that had threatened to turn Iraq into a proxy battlefield.

Cover image: An Iraqi F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off at Balad Air Base in June 2019 (Picture: US Air Force).