Sirens went off near Baghdad International Airport in Iraq amid reports that at least two rockets landed in the surrounding area, that hosts Iraqi counter-terrorism service as well as the US-led international coalition forces.
Jordan-based Arabic weekly Al-Hadath reported, citing its own correspondent, that two rockets landed in the area near the airport. The area is reportedly home to Iraqi military installations as well as the US forces.
The airport is located next to the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center (BDSC), used by diplomats, intelligence operatives as well as the US-led anti-terrorist coalition forces in Iraq.
Breaking: Rocket attack targeting the military airport in Baghdad, the location where it hit is the headquarters of the Iraqi counter terrorism unites and meters away from the U.S forces #Iraq#Baghdadpic.twitter.com/01TjigTUWb
— Steven nabil (@thestevennabil) December 8, 2019
The target of the reported rocket shelling is still unclear at the moment, as no party has claimed responsibility so far. No casualties have been reported. However, there have been unconfirmed reports of injuries among the staff of the Iraqi counter-terrorism task force. Five people have reportedly been injured, two seriously, and are being treated by foreign medics that happened to be stationed nearby.
Several flights that were supposed to pass over the airport have reportedly been diverted to the area north-east of the Iraqi capital due to the reports of a rocket attack.
#UPDATE: Possible a number of international flights above Baghdad have been diverted to the northeast of the city, including an Air France flight, due to rocket/missile launches reportedly targeting US forces at Baghdad International Airport pic.twitter.com/yQrTbftK7y
— ELINT News (@ELINTNews) December 8, 2019
The incident comes as Iraq is gripped by a wave of anti-establishment protests, with demonstrators accusing the government of corruption and demanding they vacate their posts. The resignation of Iraq’s PM Adel Abdul Mahdi a week ago did little to placate the protesters, that came out in force on Sunday, including in Baghdad. The unrest has been stained with widespread violence. At least 452 people, mostly protesters, have died and over 20,000 have been injured since the start of the action in October. On Friday, Iraq’s top Shiite Muslim cleric called on the political leadership to pick up a new PM “without any foreign intereference.”
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