Rockets land near Iraqi base housing US troops: Report

Rockets land near Iraqi base housing US troops: Report
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Officials said six rockets touched down near an airport in northern Iraq Wednesday, including three that hit a base housing U.S. troops, according to officials.

A U.S. defense official with direct knowledge told CNN six rockets hit near Erbil International Airport in the semiautonomous Kurdistan region, including three that struck the base. No U.S. personnel have been reported wounded or killed.

Officials said the rockets came from the direction of the town of Sheikh Amir, currently held by the predominantly Shia militia Hashad al Shabbi. The Interior Ministry of the Kurdistan Regional Government said they landed in a remote area and that there were no casualties.

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"On Wednesday evening, a terrorist group targeted Erbil Governorate with several missiles using a modified Kia four-wheel carrying a rocket launcher,” Iraq’s Defense Ministry said in a statement. “It was ordered to arrest the security commander in charge of the area where the rockets were fired from, and an investigation was opened immediately."

“The [Kurdistan Region of Iraq] will not tolerate any attempt to undermine Kurdistan's stability and our response will be robust,” Prime Minister Masrour Barzani tweeted Wednesday. “I have spoken to the Prime Minister of Iraq, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, on the importance of holding the perpetrators accountable."

The Trump administration reportedly told Iraqi officials earlier this week that if attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq by Iran-backed forces continue, the U.S. will shutter its embassy in Baghdad, the region’s largest. Tensions previously reached a near-tipping point in early 2020 after the U.S. killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a Baghdad drone strike. Shortly after Soleimani’s death, Iraq’s parliament took a nonbinding vote to expel U.S. forces and Iran launched a retaliatory attack on a base housing U.S. troops.