The US-led coalition has confirmed that rockets fell near two Iraqi army bases in Baghdad and Balad, used by the US troops, on Saturday. No US military casualties have resulted from the shelling, it said.
“The night of Jan. 4, two rocket attacks occurred near Iraqi bases that host Coalition troops in Baghdad and Balad, a total of 13 attacks in the past two months,” a statement attributed to coalition spokesman Colonel Myles B. Caggins III, said Saturday.
The attacks took place within a short span of four minutes on Saturday evening local time, Caggins reported, saying that the first of the two attacks targeted the heavily-fortified Green Zone that hosts a number of diplomatic and military facilities, including that housing US troops.
Noting that no US military were injured in the shelling, the spokesman said that it might have “potentially” led to casualties amongst civilian population.
“At 7:46 p.m. the International Zone took indirect fire that landed outside of Coalition facilities and potentially harmed Iraqi civilians,” the statement read.
Several minutes after the rockets hit the Green Zone, Balad Air Base, located 60 kilometers north of Baghdad, which serves as home to some US troops, also came under rocket fire, the coalition has confirmed, saying that the Iraqi military have launched an investigation into the both incidents.
The US coalition’s admission that their forces were apparently targeted in two consecutive rocket attacks, comes shortly after US President Donald Trump upped the ante in the war of words with Tehran, vowing to strike as many as 52 Iranian sites, important to the Islamic Republic and its culture, if Iran ventures to make good on its vow to avenge the US assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani, a hugely popular commander of Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force, in a US drone strike on Thursday.
Earlier this week, the US Embassy in Baghdad barely escaped a takeover by Iraqi protesters indignant over a series of US airstrikes that killed 25 Shia militia fighters a week ago. The demonstrators were chanting “Death to America” and even managed to set checkpoints on fire. The security personall deployed tear gas to force the angry crowds to retreat.