January 14, 2020 | From Epoch Times
Iraqi officials said that rockets were fired at the Taji military base north of Baghdad on Tuesday, and no casualties were reported.
Katyusha rockets were fired and were “targeting the Taji training camp,” according to an afternoon statement from the Iraqi Security Media Cell, which falls under the responsibility of the Iraqi Prime Minister’s office.
The statement didn’t elaborate on how many rockets were fired or who was responsible.
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The Taji camp, located about 50 miles north of the capital, is one of several in Iraq that house U.S.-led coalition forces that were deployed to defeat the ISIS terrorist group, which had ruled over swaths of Iraq and Syria.
An anonymous Iraqi army captain told the Anadolu Agency that the base was targeted by at least two rockets.
Tensions are at a high in the Middle East after the United States carried out an airstrike that killed Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in retaliation for an assault on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad days before. Iran then fired a barrage of missiles at Iraqi bases holding U.S. troops during the following week before sanctions were levied against the Tehran by the White House.
The latest rocket incident came just two days after following an attack on the Balad air base in Iraq, which was decried by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hours later.
“Outraged by reports of another rocket attack on an Iraqi airbase. I pray for speedy recovery of the injured and call on the Government of Iraq to hold those responsible for this attack on the Iraqi people accountable,” wrote Pompeo on Twitter. “These continued violations of Iraq’s sovereignty by groups not loyal to the Iraqi government must end.”
In that attack, Katyusha rockets were also launched, officials told Reuters.
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told NPR on Monday that the U.S. has the constitutional authority to strike Iran-backed proxy militia groups in Iraq and Iran to retaliate against attacks on American forces.
“We hold Iran responsible for its proxies, and we will retain the right to exercise self-defense and take action where legally available and appropriate to hold those proxies accountable for their actions,” Esper told NPR in an interview.
(Excerpt from Epoch Times. Article by Jack Phillips.)