On January 12, a new rocket attack targeted the Balad Air Base, which hosts U.S. troops, in the northern Iraqi province of Salahuddin.
In an official statement, Iraq’s official Security Media Cell said that air base was hit with at least eight rockets. Several Iraqi service members were injured in the shelling.
“The Balad Air Base in the province of Salahuddin was shelled with eight Katyusha rockets. As a result, four personnel of the Iraqi Air Force, including two officers, were injured,” the statement reads.
The name “Katyusha” is usually used in the Middle East to refer to different variants of 107 mm rockets. This type of rockets is used by most armed groups in Iraq, including ISIS.
Three days ago, a rocket landed a few kilometers away from the Balad Air Base. A source in Iraq’s Police force said that the attack didn’t result in any losses.
Iraq is witnessing mounting tension between Shia groups and the U.S. Earlier this month, Washington assassinated Deputy-Commander of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis along with Iran’s Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani in the country’s capital, Baghdad.
Local Shia groups fighting under the banner of the PMU vowed to avenge the death of their commander. However, it is very unlikely they were behind the attack on the Balad Air Base as Iraqi troops, which are allied with them, are known to be deployed there.