Rockets Hit near Baghdad Airport, Damage Abandoned Plane

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A security official inspects the wreckage of a drone at Baghdad airport, Iraq
A security official inspects the wreckage of a drone at Baghdad airport, Iraq, Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. (International Coalition via AP)

BAGHDAD — At least three rockets struck near Baghdad's international airport and an adjacent military base that hosts U.S. and other coalition advisors on Friday, damaging an abandoned commercial plane but causing no casualties, Iraqi officials said.

The rockets struck in the early morning hours, and landed between the civilian and military areas of the airport, two security officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the press.

Iraqi Airways, the country’s main carrier, said in a statement that the attack damaged one of its out of service planes parked near the airport but that operations were running normally and no delays were expected.

The attack is the latest in a series of rocket and drone strikes that have targeted the American presence in Iraq since the start of the year, following the second anniversary of the U.S. strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Pro-Iran Shiite factions in Iraq have vowed revenge for Soleimani’s killing and have conditioned the end of the attacks on the full exit of American troops from the country.

The U.S.-led coalition formally ended its combat mission supporting Iraqi forces in the ongoing fight against the Islamic State group last month. Some 2,500 troops will remain as the coalition shifts to an advisory mission to continue supporting Iraqi forces.

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