British envoy: Rocket attacks endanger lives of Iraqis, increase poverty

author_image Hiwa Shilani
Stephen Hickey, the British Ambassador to Iraq. (Photo: Archive)
Stephen Hickey, the British Ambassador to Iraq. (Photo: Archive)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The top British envoy in Iraq on Monday condemned continued rockets attacks in Iraq largely blamed on Iranian-backed militias, appealing to Iraqis directly by making a case for the longreaching negative effects of such incidents.

At least two rockets landed in the vicinity of Baghdad International Airport, one of them reportedly intercepted by the military and dropping near the facility and the other causing no casualties when it struck.

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"The firing of rockets at Baghdad's civilian airport: endangers the lives of Iraqis (and) increases their poverty by impeding foreign investment and tourism," the British Ambassador to Iraq Steven Hickey wrote in a statement on social media.

He continued that the action "harms the international standing of Iraq" and "makes it more difficult for Iraqis to travel abroad."

"The Iraqis deserve better than that," Hickey concluded.

Iraqi security officials said earlier that the rockets were fired from the Abu Ghraib area, west of Baghdad, and there were no reports of serious material damage or injuries.

A similar rocket attack took place in late April, also without casualties.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for Sunday's incident.

The frequency of such attacks has increased since the killing of the Qasim Soleimani, long-time head of the Quds Force, the paramilitary arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, along with the head of a prominent Iranian-backed militia of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).

Editing by John J. Catherine