Rockets Fall near Baghdad Airport, with No Casualties
Three Katyusha rockets landed around Baghdad’s international airport overnight between Monday and Tuesday, causing minor damage but no casualties. Iraqi troops sent to investigate to the west of the airport later found more launchers with rockets in them. It was the third case of rocket fire in or near the facility in a little over a week. There were no immediate claims of responsibility, although previous attacks, in addition to mortar fire, have been blamed on the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), an alignment of Iraqi militias armed by, and taking orders from, Iran. The airport houses a contingent of foreign forces, including American troops. On January 3, a top PMF commander, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, was killed alongside Qasem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, in a US drone strike just outside the airport. The drone strike set off a series of tit for tat attacks between the US, on the one hand, and Iranian and PMF forces, on the other. The PMF is also believed to have been behind several rocket and mortar attacks directed against the US Embassy in the Iraqi capital.