Not less than 4 rockets struck an airbase in Balad, north of Baghdad, on Saturday, the Iraqi navy stated in an announcement. Different officers stated one particular person was wounded on the base the place a US protection firm providers fight plane.
The assault got here days after greater than a dozen rockets targeted coalition forces exterior Erbil worldwide airport, in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq. That assault killed one coalition contractor and wounded 9. Iraqi and Kurdish residents had been additionally severely injured.
On Saturday, 4 safety officers stated the person wounded on the airbase in Salahaddin province labored for the US firm, and one stated his nationality was South African. Different studies stated the contractor was Iraqi. The officers spoke on situation of anonymity, according to laws.
They stated the US protection firm Sallyport has its headquarters throughout the airbase, and has 46 personnel contracted to offer base providers to assist Iraq’s F-16 program.
Just a little-known Shia militant group, Saraya Awliya al-Dam, Arabic for Guardians of Blood Brigade, claimed accountability for the assault.
Armed teams that some Iraqi officers say are backed by Iran have claimed such incidents previously. Iran-aligned paramilitary teams demand that every one overseas troops, together with US forces, who quantity about 2,500 in Iraq, go away the nation, calling their presence an occupation.
US-led coalition troops have steadily diminished their presence in Iraq over the past 12 months. Saturday’s assault got here after Nato introduced it might scale up its mission in Iraq from 500 personnel to 4,000, so as to battle the remnants of the Islamic State group, in keeping with feedback from the secretary basic, Jens Stoltenberg, this week.
Nato’s coaching mission was launched in 2018 to assist the conflict-ravaged nation develop new academies and navy faculties for its armed forces. It was initially situated within the capital, Baghdad, and in neighboring Jordan.