Four rockets have hit Balad airbase in Iraq that hosts US troops. Four Iraqi airmen are reportedly injured. As per Reuters, the attack involves mortar shelling as well. The news agency said that mortar bombs fell on the airbase's runway. The airbase is located 80 km north of Iraqi capital Baghdad. It is being reported in world media that Katyusha rockets have been fired at the airbase. Iraq has become a battleground on which Iran and the USA appear to be settling scores against each other. The events were sparked by killing Qasem Soleimani, a high ranking military commander of Iran who was killed in American drone strike outside Baghdad Airport on January 3.
Qasem Soleimani was a powerful general who headed Quds Force of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards. Soleimani was considered to be instrumental in setting up of Iran security framework and influence in the Middle East/West Asia after power vacuum created by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's death. Under Soleimani, Iran was able to increase its influence inside Iraq, a nation it had previously gone to war with. Soleimani was a popular figure in Iran.
Soleimani's death followed a wave of anger inside Iran even when US President Donald Trump described Soleimani a global terrorist again and again.
On January 6, rockets were launched inside Green Zone of Baghdad apparently at US Embassy. A lot of embassies and important government buildings are located inside Baghdad's Green Zone.
On January 8, Iran launched a rocket attack at al-Assad airbase in Iraq. There were no American casualties.
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