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Two rockets target Baghdad airport base housing US troops

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Nearly 30 rocket and bomb attacks have targeted US interests in Iraq since January. (Deposit)

Baghdad:

Two rockets targeted an airbase at Iraqi Baghdad airport housing US-led coalition troops on Sunday in the second such attack in 10 days, the Iraqi military said.

One of the projectiles was intercepted by the C-RAM counter-rocket, artillery and mortar system deployed to protect US troops in Iraq, a security source told UKTN.

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There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack which, according to the military, claimed no casualties.

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Washington routinely blames Iraqi factions linked to Iran for such attacks on its troops and diplomats.

Tehran and Washington, sworn enemies, have both been present in Iraq since 2003, where 2,500 American troops are still deployed.

Last week, three rockets crashed in the area of ​​the base of Baghdad airport occupied by Iraqi troops, injuring a soldier.

Nearly 30 rocket and bomb attacks have targeted US interests in Iraq – including Iraqi troops, the embassy, ​​or Iraqi supply convoys to foreign forces – since President Joe Biden took office in January.

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Two foreign contractors, an Iraqi contractor and eight Iraqi civilians were killed in the strikes.

Dozens of other attacks were carried out starting in the fall of 2019 under the administration of Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump.

The operations are sometimes claimed by obscure groups who experts say are smokescreens for Iranian-backed organizations that have long been in Iraq.

The strikes come at a sensitive time as the Islamic Republic is engaged in talks with world powers aimed at bringing the United States back into a 2015 nuclear deal.

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The deal, which slows down Iran’s nuclear program in return for sanctions relief, has been on life support since Trump’s withdrawal in 2018.

Iraqi pro-Iran groups have vowed to step up attacks to drive out US “occupation” forces in recent months, sometimes against Tehran’s will, some experts say.

Last month, Baghdad reportedly hosted a secret meeting of senior officials from Tehran and US ally Saudi Arabia.

Iraq, wedged between its eastern neighbor, Iran and Saudi Arabia to the south, is seeking to become a mediator.

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