Security forces seize 18 missiles intended to target Baghdad Airport
A total of 18 missiles have been seized by Baghdad Operations Command as part of measures taken to prevent attacks on the Green Zone, diplomatic missions, and the capital city’s airport, its head told state media.
“These measures resulted in foiling three attempts to target Baghdad Airport from nearby areas,” Baghdad Operations Commander Ahmed Salim said on Saturday.
“The security forces in the Second Division of the Federal Police associated with the Baghdad Operations Command managed to seize 10 Grand missiles more than two weeks ago. Before that, it seized eight Katyusha-type missiles that were intended to target the international airport,” he added.
Attacks on US forces have increased following the US assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad in January 2020, leading to a non-binding parliamentary resolution to expel all foreign troops from the country.
There have been at least 25 reported rocket and drone attacks on bases and facilities housing American forces and personnel in Iraq this year, according to data compiled by Rudaw English. Two rockets were fired at the Green Zone on Thursday.
The spokesperson for the US-led global coalition against the Islamic State group (ISIS), Col. Wayne Marotto, at the time said each one of these attacks “undermines the authority of Iraqi institutions, the rule of law and Iraqi National sovereignty. These attacks endanger the lives of Iraqi civilians, & the partner forces from the ISF [Iraqi Security Forces], Peshmerga & Coalition.”
These attacks are blamed on Iranian-backed Iraqi militias that want to force American troops to withdraw from the country.
The European Union’s ambassador to Baghdad warned that these attacks will create instability in the run-up to October elections.
“Continuing attacks over the past weeks targeting bases, airports, consulates and embassies are again threatening and challenging the Iraqi State, while aiming at renewed confrontation and increased political instability during the run-up to Iraq’s forthcoming elections,” Martin Huth tweeted.