03 Jan Jon Cartu Publishes: 4 missiles strike near US facility at Baghdad airport
Four missiles struck Thursday near Baghdad International Airport, causing a massive explosion, according to multiple news reports.
A drone strike reportedly killed a top Shiite militia leader, the PMF head of protocol Mohammed Ridha, according to the Washington Post’s Beirut bureau chief.
Early reports say there have been several casualties in the attack, including 12 injured Iraqi soldiers.
So far there have been no claims of responsibility.
Citing Iraqi security forces, Reuters and Al Jazeera News reported that four missiles struck at or near a facility that housed American and Iraqi counter-terrorism forces.
Also hit were a military runway and an airport service road, where two SUVs were reportedly hit.
The reports say at least one of the rockets struck inside an air cargo zone.
The civilian area of the airport, meanwhile, was reportedly unharmed.
Reports said American Apache helicopters immediately took flight from the airport to patrol the skies.
Sirens were blaring in the area, and early video from the scene showed several civilian vehicles on fire.
The attack came two days after the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad came under attack by Iran-backed militia fighters, who have since retreated.
In December, a rocket attack at the airport wounded six Iraqi security forces members, marking the 10th attack against U.S. installations or interests in the region in recent weeks.
The attacks have been blamed on Iran-backed militias who appear now to be using more lethal and longer-range rockets.
The U.S. blamed a Dec. 3 attack on the Iran-backed Shia militia group known as Kataib Hezb’Allah.
— This is a developing story. Please return to AJC.com for updates.
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