Iraq

Rockets hit Iraq air base where American troops stationed

Iraqi security forces say two Katyusha rockets have landed in an air base just north of the capital Baghdad, where American trainers are stationed.

A statement by Iraq’s security media center said the attack on Balad Air Base, located about 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Baghdad, took place late on Thursday and caused no casualties or damages.

The development came only two days after the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group announced that several rockets had landed outside Ain al-Asad Air Base, where hundreds of US troops are stationed in Iraq’s western province of Anbar.

Col. Myles B. Caggins III, the spokesman for the so-called Operation Inherent Resolve, said in a statement that no facilities were hit and there were no injuries.

Reuters news agency, citing an Iraqi military statement, reported that five rockets had landed in the sprawling airbase.

US Vice President Mike Pence paid an unannounced visit to the airbase on November 23 to meet with US troops there.

Attacks on Iraqi bases hosting US troops besides foreign diplomatic missions come at a time when a wave of protests over unemployment, corruption and lack of public services continues in the country.

Iraq’s parliament on Sunday formally accepted Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi’s resignation.

Abdul-Mahdi had submitted his resignation to the legislature a day earlier, following weeks of protests demanding he step down.

The 77-year-old Iraqi politician had announced in a statement on November 29 that he would submit his resignation to parliament amid anti-government demonstrations.

“I will submit to parliament an official memorandum resigning from the current prime ministry so that parliament can review its choices,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani urged lawmakers to reconsider their support for the government.

“We call upon the House of Representatives from which this current government emerged to reconsider its options in that regard,” Ayatollah Sistani said in a statement read out by his representative Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalaei during a weekly sermon in the holy city of Karbala.

Nearly two months of protests have rocked primarily the capital city of Baghdad and southern areas of Iraq.

The protesters have expressed frustration with the failing economy and have demanded political and anti-corruption reforms.

The rallies have, however, turned into violent confrontations in numerous occasions, with reports alleging that certain foreign-backed elements have been seeking to wreak havoc in the country.

Since October 1, more than 300 people have been killed in the country, according to the Iraqi parliament’s human rights commission.

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