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7 rockets target Iraq base housing US troops; 5 hit nearby village

SAMARRA, Iraq — Seven rockets targeted an Iraqi airbase housing US troops north of Baghdad on Monday, a security source said, the latest in a string of attacks Washington routinely blames on Iran-linked factions.

The evening attack on Al-Balad did not cause any casualties or damage inside the base, the security official said.

The other five rockets crashed into a nearby village, he added, noting that all seven were fired from a separate village in the neighboring province of Diyala, east of the base.

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There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

There have been several such attacks in recent weeks targeting locations where US forces operate.

On March 3, an American sub-contractor was killed in a similar attack against another airbase, Ain Al-Assad, in Iraq’s western desert.

That came days after the US bombed a border depot in neighboring Syria which the Pentagon said was used by Iran-backed Iraqi armed militia that have been tied to the rocket attacks.

US President Joe Biden described the February 25 raid as a “warning” to Iran.

Dozens of rocket attacks and roadside bombs targeted Western security, military and diplomatic sites in Iraq in 2020, blamed by Iraqi and Western military sources on hardline pro-Iran factions.

The attacks had come to a near-complete halt in October following a truce with the hardliners, but have since resumed.

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