Operations command denies rocket attack on Baghdad airport

File – Baghdad International Airport. (Shutterstock via Arab News)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Baghdad joint operations command denied reports on Wednesday that the Baghdad international airport was targeted by rockets.

Iraqi media reported earlier that several rockets fell in the airport, causing damages to planes.

“No rocket attack was carried out on the airport,” Baghdad operations command said on Wednesday.

The airport has been intermittently targeted with rockets in the past months.

On Friday, six rockets landed in the airport, damaging two commercial planes, according to the Iraqi military.

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

The rockets landed in the airport’s compound and near an adjacent U.S. air base, police sources told Reuters.

The U.S. air base, known as Camp Victory, is located around the perimeter of Baghdad’s civilian airport.

Al-Arabiya channel cited a security source as saying that the security forces detained Akram al-Qaisi, a member of armed militias, for involvement in the attack.

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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