Four rockets hit Iraq's largest military airbase

State news agency reports no damage or casualties

US contractors and Iraqi fighter jets are based at Balad, north of Baghdad. Reuters

Four rockets hit Iraq's Balad airbase but caused no damage or casualties, the Iraqi Security Media Cell said on Thursday.

The rockets landed in an "open area in Balad airbase, where Iraqi aircraft instrumental for the fight against terrorists are stationed", state news agency Ina cited a tweet by the Security Cell, which also said that legal action would be taken against the perpetrators.

No group has claimed responsibility.

Balad airbase, the country largest, is about 64 kilometres north of Baghdad.

It hosts US contractors and Iraqi fighter jets and is often the target of attacks and shelling that in the past have caused casualties.

In January, the Security Cell announced that three drones approaching the airbase were gunned down after they were seen with the naked eye from watchtowers.

Commander of the base, Maj Gen Diaa Mohsen, told state media at the time that the unidentified drones were not spotted by radar "because they were launched from a location in close proximity to the facility".

Two years after Iranian commander Qassem Suleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis were killed in a US drone strike near Baghad's airport, Iraqi sources revealed that the country is in talks to acquire anti-drone systems to protect its airspace.

In the past, armed groups that some Iraqi officials say are backed by Iran have claimed similar incidents.

Updated: March 18, 2022, 11:59 AM
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