4 injured as bombs strike Iraqi base housing U.S. soldiers

At least four Iraqi soldiers were wounded on Sunday in a rocket attack on the Balad airbase in northern Iraq, according to Reuters. 

The outlet reported that the Iraqi military said in a statement that the base, which also houses US personnel, was targeted by eight Katyusha rockets that were fired from about 50 miles (80 km) north of Baghdad. According to the report, seven of those rockets hit the base’s runway. 

No casualties among the US forces were reported, according to Reuters, and the military statement did not identify who was behind the attack. 

The injuries come just days after an attack on two military bases in Iraq that house US forces that were launched by Iran as tensions between the countries escalated following the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the high-profile head of Iran’s elite Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, in an airstrike on January 2 at Baghdad’s international airport in accordance with orders from President Donald Trump.  

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U.S. troops leave Syria for Iraq

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A U.S. military convoy arrives near Dahuk, Iraqi, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Monday that under the current plan all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the military will continue to conduct operations against the Islamic State group to prevent its resurgence. (AP Photo)

A U.S. military vehicle, part of a convoy, arrives near Dahuk, Iraqi, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Monday that under the current plan all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the military will continue to conduct operations against the Islamic State group to prevent its resurgence. (AP Photo)

A U.S. military convoy arrives near Dahuk, Iraqi, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Monday that under the current plan all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the military will continue to conduct operations against the Islamic State group to prevent its resurgence. (AP Photo)

A U.S. military convoy arrives near Dahuk, Iraqi, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Monday that under the current plan all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the military will continue to conduct operations against the Islamic State group to prevent its resurgence. (AP Photo)

A U.S. military vehicle, part of a convoy, arrives near Dahuk, Iraqi, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Monday that under the current plan all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the military will continue to conduct operations against the Islamic State group to prevent its resurgence. (AP Photo)

SHEIKHAN, IRAQ – OCTOBER 19: A convoy of U.S. armored military vehicles leave Syria on a road to Iraq on October 19, 2019 in Sheikhan, Iraq. Refugees fleeing the Turkish incursion into Syria arrived in Northern Iraq since the conflict began, with many saying they paid to be smuggled through the Syrian border. (Photo by Byron Smith/Getty Images)

SHEIKHAN, IRAQ – OCTOBER 19: A convoy of U.S. armored military vehicles leave Syria on a road to Iraq on October 19, 2019 in Sheikhan, Iraq. Refugees fleeing the Turkish incursion into Syria arrived in Northern Iraq since the conflict began, with many saying they paid to be smuggled through the Syrian border. (Photo by Byron Smith/Getty Images)

SHEIKHAN, IRAQ – OCTOBER 19: A convoy of U.S. armored military vehicles leave Syria on a road to Iraq on October 19, 2019 in Sheikhan, Iraq. Refugees fleeing the Turkish incursion into Syria arrived in Northern Iraq since the conflict began, with many saying they paid to be smuggled through the Syrian border. (Photo by Byron Smith/Getty Images)

SHEIKHAN, IRAQ – OCTOBER 19: A convoy of U.S. armored military vehicles leave Syria on a road to Iraq on October 19, 2019 in Sheikhan, Iraq. Refugees fleeing the Turkish incursion into Syria arrived in Northern Iraq since the conflict began, with many saying they paid to be smuggled through the Syrian border. (Photo by Byron Smith/Getty Images)

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The strike immediately triggered security concerns for US entities in the region as Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who said that a “harsh retaliation is waiting” for Americans.

The Pentagon said in a statement after it completed the fatal airstrike that it had targeted Soleimani because he “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” as the White House emphasized that the strike was ordered as a measure to increase security and peace. 

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