Rocket Fire in Baghdad Airport
Six rockets struck Baghdad’s international airport facility on Friday, damaging two commercial planes but causing no casualties, Iraq’s military said in a statement.
The rockets fired in the early morning landed on planes parked in a waiting area of Iraqi Airways, the country’s national carrier, the statement said. One rocket punched a gaping hole in the cockpit area of the plane.
The attack marks an escalation of a series of rocket and drone strikes that have targeted the U.S. and their allies as well as Iraqi government institutions since the start of the year. Most attacks targeting the airport did not cause heavy damage or affect civilian areas of the airport facility.
The recent uptick followed the second anniversary of the U.S. strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
The military said launch pads for the missiles had been located in the nearby Abu Ghraib area.
The airport contains an Iraqi military base that hosts U.S. and other coalition advisors.
The rockets landed between the civilian and military areas of the airport, two security officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the press.
The airline said in a statement that the attack had damaged one of its out-of-service planes parked near the airport but that operations were running normally and no delays were expected.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi condemned the attack, calling it an attempt “to undermine Iraq’s reputation, that we have endeavoured to restore in the region and internationally.”
The attack on the airport aimed to undermine confidence in Iraq’s security, as well as impede the work of the airline, according to the Iraqi military and the prime minister. Al-Kadhimi called on Iraqi political parties to unequivocally condemn the attack and support Iraqi security forces in the search for those responsible.
Their silence over the frequency of attacks has served as a cover for perpetrators, al-Kadhimi said. He also called on the international community not to place restrictions on travel to Iraq as a result of the attack.
The U.N. condemned the rising number of “despicable” attacks in a statement urging political actors to act together and expose the culprits.
Pro-Iran Shiite factions in Iraq have vowed revenge for Soleimani’s killing and have conditioned the end of the attacks on the full exit of American troops from the country.
The U.S.-led coalition formally ended its combat mission supporting Iraqi forces in the ongoing fight against the Islamic State group last month. Some 2,500 troops will remain as the coalition shifts to an advisory mission to continue supporting Iraqi forces.
Images: Suspected Iraqi Shiite insurgents allegedly fired at least 6 107mm Katyusha rockets overnight targeting U.S. military forces stationed at Baghdad International Airport. pic.twitter.com/Psk9AvaQ1q— Evan Kohlmann (@IntelTweet) January 28, 2022
The photographs of the attack which went viral on social media platforms show a hole from a rocket in the fuselage of the aircraft.
In another report published by Qatar News Agency (QNA), two children were killed and a third was wounded today, as a result of the explosion of war remnants inside a garbage dump south of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
A security source stated that a girl and a child were killed, while a third was injured while tampering with rubbish, picking up a strange object inside a plastic bag and setting it on fire.
It led to its explosion, in the "Al-Askari neighborhood" of Mahmudiya district, south of Baghdad. The source explained that these children work in the field of waste collection.
In another development , the Iraqi Ministry of Defense announced the discovery of tanks prepared for detonation with ammunition and missiles in Salah al-Din Governorate, northern Iraq.
The ministry said, in a press statement today, that the 34th and the 35th Armoured Brigades of the Ninth Armoured Division began a search and inspection operation.
In Al-Aythah area in Salah al-Din governorate, a hideout, two trenches, and two dens were found for ISIS members.
The statement added that the operation also resulted in the discovery of (4) detonation tanks, (9) explosive devices, (6) rockets (RPG7), sniper monitors and 150 mm projectiles.
Sources: Washington Post and QNA
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