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No injuries reported after rocket hits base in Iraq housing US troops

The Ain al-Asad airbase in Iraq
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Iraq’s military said a Katyusha rocket struck a base housing U.S. troops at Baghdad’s international airport on Wednesday, according to reports, but no injuries are reported. 

Officials said in a statement that a rocket launcher with one rocket was found in a residential district in western Baghdad, according to The Associated Press.

The report added that the district has been used in the past by Iran-backed militias to fire rockets at Baghdad’s international airport.

The incident comes after two attempted drone attacks on U.S. forces Monday and Tuesday. 

An official with the U.S.-led international military coalition confirmed an attempted attack on the Ain al-Asad air base west of Baghdad on Tuesday, according to Reuters. One day earlier, a similar attack was attempted, but the armed drones were shot down. 

U.S. officials believe that attacks on American forces are likely to rise in the days after the second anniversary of the death of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, Reuters reported.

Pro-Iran Shiite factions in Iraq have vowed retribution for the assassination and have demanded the exit of U.S. forces from Iraq. Around 2,500 troops are still said to be in the country after the U.S.-led coalition formally ended its combat mission last month, the AP noted.

Former President Trump ordered the drone strike that killed Soleimani on Jan. 3, 2020, near the Baghdad airport.

The Pentagon at the time said it carried out the mission because Soleimani was “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region” and was “responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more.”

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