On April 4, a rocket attack targeted Balad Air Base in Iraq’s central region. US troops are known to be deployed in the base. 

An Iraqi security source told that al-Ain News that two rockets hit the air base, which is located 64 km to the north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

“The two rockets feel near the outer fence of the base, causing no human or material losses,” the UAE-based TV channel quoted the source as saying.

Sabereen News, a Telegram channel linked to Iranian-backed armed groups in Iraq, said the US-held section of Balad Air Base was closed after the attack. American personnel were prevented from moving outdoors.

So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack on Balad Air Base. Iranian-backed groups, which carried out similar attacks in the past, remain the main suspect.

This was not the first rocket attack on Iraqi bases hosting US troops. Two similar attacks took place earlier this year:

  • On February 15, a rocket attack targeted the military section of Erbil International Airport in northern Iraq. A Filipino contactor working for the US-led coalition was killed. Five other contractors, two US soldiers and two Iraqi civilians were injured.
  • On March 3, a rocket attack targeted Ain Assad Air Base in western Iraq. An American contractor died in the attack, allegedly from a “heart attack”.

These attacks are meant to force the US into withdrawing its forces from Iraq. Next week, Baghdad and Washington will start a “strategic dialog” on several issues, including the presence of American troops in the country.