SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Six rockets landed in the Baghdad International Airport compound on Friday, damaging two commercial planes without causing casualties, Iraq’s military said.
In a statement, Iraq security media cell said the rockets fired in the early morning landed on planes parked in a waiting area of Iraqi Airways, the country’s national carrier.
It further said launch pad for the rockets were located in the nearby Abu Ghraib area.
Iraqi Airways said separately that the attack had damaged one of its out-of-service planes parked near the airport.
Earlier, Reuters cited police sources as saying that the rockets landed in the airport’s compound and near an adjacent U.S. air base.
The U.S. air base, known as Camp Victory, is located around the perimeter of Baghdad’s civilian airport.
AP cited two security officials as saying that the rockets fell between the civilian and military areas of the airport.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi condemned the attack, calling it an attempt to “undermine Iraq’s reputation, that we have endeavored to restore in the region and internationally”.
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, he said. He also called on the international community not to place restrictions on travel to Iraq as a result of the attack.
Rocket attacks which U.S. and some Iraqi officials blame on Iran-aligned Shia militia groups who oppose the U.S. military presence in the region have regularly hit the complex in recent years.
On Jan. 5, Katyusha rockets hit Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. forces near Baghdad’s international airport and west of the Iraqi capital.
A series of attacks this month, some of which the United States blames on Iran-aligned militia groups, have targeted bases or installations hosting U.S. military and diplomatic personnel but have caused no U.S. casualties.
The Iran-aligned militias have in previous years carried out dozens of similar attacks, mostly causing little harm. But the attacks have become more sophisticated in the past year, including with the use of fixed-wing and multi-rotor drones.
*This story was updated at 11:33 p.m. EBL time