Rocket attack hits north Iraq base hosting U.S. troops, say security sources

  • Rocket attack hits north Iraq base hosting U.S. troops, say security sources

Rocket attack hits north Iraq base hosting U.S. troops, say security sources

A rocket attack hit an Iraqi base in the province of Kirkuk where United States troops are stationed, AFP reported, citing Iraqi and USA security sources.

According to three separate Iraqi security sources, the Katyusha rocket hit the K1 base at around 8:45 p.m. local time and U.S. military aircraft immediately began flying low over the area.

There have been no immediate reports of casualties.

The base is located 15 kilometers to the northwest of Kirkuk and it houses USA military forces as well as Iraqi forces from the Federal Police and Counter-Terrorism Service.

An Iraqi security source told AFP that the launch pad was found about five kilometres (three miles) from the base, in a multi-ethnic area.

A rocket attack on K1 killed a USA contractor on December 27 and led Washington to conduct an airstrike that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and senior Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

The US then carried out retaliatory attacks that killed 25 Kataib Hezbollah fighters.

In outrage, Iraq's parliament voted to oust all foreign forces from the country, including around 5,200 USA troops deployed to help local forces beat back remnants of the Islamic State jihadist group. Iran retaliated for Soleimani's killing with a barrage of missiles that targeted two airbases hosting American troops in Irbil and Ain al-Asad. A prior warning had been issued for the troops, and nobody was killed.