Arab countries, Iran condemn rocket attack on Baghdad airport

A damaged aircraft sits on the apron of Baghdad airport, after a rocket attack in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. (AP photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Arab countries and Iran condemned a rocket attack that targeted the Baghdad international airport on Friday.

Six rockets landed in the Baghdad airport early on Friday, damaging two commercial planes, according to the Iraqi military.

The United Arab Emirates denounced the “cowardly terrorist missile attack” on the Baghdad airport, according to the Emirates news agency.

The UAE foreign ministry expressed its “permanent rejection of all forms of violence and terrorism that aim to destabilize security and stability”.

Meanwhile, Egypt said such attacks constitute a direct threat to Iraq’s stability and undermine the freedom of air navigation, Egypt Today reported.

Jordan’s foreign ministry also condemned the attack, saying the attacks “represent a clear threat to the stability of Iraq and the capabilities its brotherly people,” Jordan news agency reported.

In a separate statement, Bahrain vowed support for all “measures taken by the Iraqi government to maintain the country’s security stability”.

Iran’s foreign ministry said through its spokesman Saeed Khatizadeh that such “suspicious acts” would create instability and chaos in the country.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always advocated for security, development and integrity of Iraq and backed the Iraqi government’s measures to ensure stability,” Khatibzadeh said in a statement.

Iraqi Airways said the attack had damaged one of its out-of-service planes parked near the airport.

Kuwaiti Airways and Al Jazeera Airways announced the suspension of their flights to Iraq due to the decisions made Kuwait’s civil aviation authority.

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.

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.

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