Rocket lands inside Baghdad International Airport
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – On late Monday, a Katyusha rocket landed inside the Baghdad International Airport, without causing any casualties, according to Iraqi security sources.
The rocket was launched from areas around Abu Ghraib, some 20 miles west of Baghdad, Iraq’s Security Media Cell explained in a tweet which reported that the rocket had landed inside the airport complex, but caused no causalities.
On June 15, three Katyusha rockets struck the area around the Baghdad airport, also without causing any casualties.
The targets of the recently mounting rocket attacks have been Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, which includes Iraqi government offices, as well as the US embassy; the Baghdad International Airport; and military bases that house foreign personnel.
The most recent attack occurred on Thursday, when four Katyusha rockets hit the Green Zone, marking the fifth attack of its kind in ten days which targeted sites hosting US political and military missions.
The rockets in such attacks are generally fired from improvised launchers and usually do not cause causalities. Nonetheless, they have become a source of insecurity for foreign diplomatic and military missions in Iraq.
“Iraq deserves to be known in the world for its wonderful culture, rich history, and beautiful nature,” British Ambassador to Iraq Stephen Hicky, on late Monday, tweeted, “not by launching Katyusha rockets,” as it harms “its international reputation”
US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue
On Thursday, in a joint statement following the first round of talks between the US and Iraq, Baghdad announced it had “committed to protecting the military personnel of the International Coalition and the Iraqi facilities hosting them consistently.”
Nonetheless, the attacks have continued. John Hannah, National Security Adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney during the George W. Bush administration, emphasized the importance of ending such attacks in a recent interview with Kurdistan 24.
Hannah stressed that the Iraqi government needed to punish those responsible for the assaults. However, if it is unable or willing to do so, “I think the United States is going to have to conduct a real, hard strategic review of our position in Iraq.”
“Then, I think, the United States will begin to have to start looking at Plan B and Plan C on how we might achieve some of our objectives in that part of the world, particularly in terms of fighting ISIS and supporting our friends in the Kurdistan Region that we prefer not to have to look at, because they create a whole new host of problems,” Hannah said.
Editing by Laurie Mylroie