BAGHDAD: Six rockets were fired on Friday at the Iraqi capital’s airport, causing damage but no casualties, authorities said, the latest in a string of attacks the US blames on Iran-linked militias.

The rockets hit Baghdad International Airport’s facilities, causing “significant damage to one runway and to two civilian planes”, the Civil Aviation department said in a statement.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi denounced the attacks, which he said were aimed at “tarnishing” Iraq’s reputation and “casting doubt over the security situation”.

The attack was not immediately claimed by any group. Recent months have seen rocket and drone attacks target the US embassy in Baghdad’s high-security Green Zone, a US diplomatic facility at the airport and troops belonging to a US-led coalition stationed at Iraqi bases.

The past few weeks have also seen violence targeting Iraqi politicians and parties, largely consisting of grenade attacks, but also extending to one rocket assault near the home of a key politician, amid tensions surrounding the formation of a new government.

One of the planes hit was a Boeing 767 belonging to Iraqi Airways, that was out of service and stationary. The state-owned airline posted pictures of the damage, consisting of a hole near the nose of a plane.

No flights were affected by the attack, the airline added. The security services also said that Katyusha rockets had been fired on the airport.

Published in Dawn, January 29th, 2022

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