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Reports: Rockets land near 2 US military bases in Iraq; no direct hits

Airmen with the 332nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron at Joint Base Balad, Feb. 19, 2007. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Michael Holzworth)
January 09, 2020

Reports indicated that a rocket struck nearby the Balad Air Base in Iraq on Thursday where U.S. troops are housed.

No casualties were reported after the rocket strike, which occurred north of Baghdad in the northern province of Salahuddin, Reuters reported.

Officials haven’t yet determined where the rocket originated from.

On Wednesday night, two rockets landed near the heavily fortified Baghdad International Zone (“Green Zone”). No casualties were reported from the incident.

“The military Coalition confirms small rockets impacted near Baghdad’s International Zone, Jan. 8 at 11:45 p.m. (Baghdad Time). No Coalition casualties or damage to facilities,” Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Col. Myles B. Caggins confirmed.

One rocket fell just 100 meters from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Reuters reported.

Two rockets previously fell within the Balad Air Base complex last week, the New York Times reported.

The rockets at the time were identified as Katyusha rockets, a Russian made rocket.

Rocket strikes in the region are considered common, but the U.S. military is on high alert for continued attacks from Iranian-backed Iraqi militias.

On Wednesday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told reporters he “fully expect(s)” those militias “to conduct terrorist operations against US forces and coalition forces in Iraq and perhaps even elsewhere,” CNN reported.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper also said he expects continued attacks “either directed or non-directed by Iran,” adding that the U.S. faces challenges of determining “who’s doing it, who’s motivating it.”