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4 Jan, 2020 23:37

US-led coalition confirms rocket attacks near Iraqi bases housing US troops, says no servicemen hurt

US-led coalition confirms rocket attacks near Iraqi bases housing US troops, says no servicemen hurt

The US-led coalition has confirmed that rockets fell near two Iraqi Army bases in Baghdad and Balad, used by US troops, on Saturday. No US military casualties resulted from the shelling, it said.

“The night of Jan. 4, two rocket attacks occurred near Iraqi bases that host Coalition troops in Baghdad and Balad, a total of 13 attacks in the past two months,” a statement attributed to coalition spokesman Colonel Myles B. Caggins III said Saturday.

The attacks took place within the span of four minutes on Saturday evening local time, Caggins reported, saying that the first of the two attacks targeted the heavily-fortified Green Zone, which hosts a number of diplomatic and military facilities, including some that house US troops.

Noting that no US military were injured in the shelling, the spokesman said that it could have “potentially” led to casualties among the civilian population.

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“At 7:46 p.m. the International Zone took indirect fire that landed outside of Coalition facilities and potentially harmed Iraqi civilians,” the statement read.

Several minutes after the rockets hit the Green Zone, Balad Air Base, located 60 kilometers north of Baghdad, which serves as home to some US troops, also came under rocket fire, the coalition confirmed, saying that the Iraqi military has launched an investigation into both incidents.

Also on rt.com Rockets land close to US Embassy in Baghdad, no known casualties - military

The US coalition’s statement that their forces were apparently targeted in two consecutive rocket attacks comes shortly after US President Donald Trump upped the ante in the war of words with Tehran, vowing to strike as many as 52 Iranian sites if Iran makes good on its vow to avenge the assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani, a hugely popular commander of the Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force, in a US drone strike on Thursday.

Earlier this week, the US Embassy in Baghdad barely escaped a takeover by Iraqi protesters following a series of US airstrikes that killed 25 Shia militia fighters a week ago. The demonstrators chanted “death to America” and even managed to set checkpoints on fire. Security personnel deployed tear gas to force the angry crowds to retreat.

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