Three rockets land near Halliburton’s Basra oil facility
Three Katyusha rockets landed near a US oil company compound housing foreign workers in al-Barjasiya, situated in Iraq’s southern province of Basra, in the early hours of Monday morning, Iraqi military officials confirm.
The rockets landed near a residential and office complex operated by Halliburton, a US multinational corporation working in Zubair oil field, defense officials said in a statement.
Nobody was hurt in the attack and the facility did not sustain any material damage. Halliburton has not commented on the incident.
“Security forces in Basra are in pursuit of elements operating outside the frameworks of the law following the firing of three Katyusha which landed near Halliburton Oil Company in al-Barjasiya area,” the defense officials said.
A Katyusha launch pad was found on the nearby Zubair-Shaabia road with 11 unfired rockets, the statement added.
Another outlet, Basra Oil Media, said four rockets hit the facility.
“At 3.30 am this morning, April 6, 2020, four rockets landed on a site surrounding our oil sites in the Energy City of Al-Barjasiya, which did not result in any material or human losses,” it said.
According to Reuters, al-Barjasiya houses a large community of foreigners working in Basra’s oil industry. Many have been evacuated in recent weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Officials from the state-run Basra Oil Co. (BOC) told the news wire on Monday that the rocket attack had no impact production or exportations.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Following months of heightened tensions between the US and Iraq’s influential neighbor Iran, rocket attacks on US infrastructure and personnel in the Green Zone and elsewhere in Iraq have become increasingly frequent.
US officials have accused Iran-backed Iraqi militias of launching the attacks.
There are roughly 5,000 US troops stationed in Iraq alongside several NATO forces advising and assisting Iraqi and Kurdish forces in the fight against Islamic State (ISIS) remnants.
The presence of US troops in Iraq has always been contentious for Shiite political parties and Iran-backed paramilitias.
Following the January 3 US drone strike on Baghdad airport, which killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi militia chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Shiite blocs in the Iraqi parliament passed a resolution demanding the expulsion of US troops from Iraq. Source