News Alerts

05 Jul 2020 | 10:33 PM UTC

Iraq: Rocket fire targets Baghdad International Airport July 6

Iraq News Alert

Reports of rocket fire targeting Baghdad International Airport on July 6; further attacks possible over the near term

TIMEFRAME expected from 7/5/2020, 12:00 AM until 7/7/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Baghdad). COUNTRY/REGION Baghdad

Event

Social and local media sources report that a Katyusha rocket was fired towards Baghdad International Airport (BGW) at around 00:30 (local time) on Monday, July 6. Initial reports indicate that the rocket failed to explode and that no casualties have been reported. Social media sources suggest that the militia group Usbat al-Thaereen has claimed responsibility for the attack, but this has not been confirmed. BGW is a target for such attacks as some US troops in Iraq are stationed at the airport.

Further attacks are possible on facilities linked to the presence of US and other foreign forces in Iraq over the near term.

Context

On Sunday, July 5, a rocket was fired towards Baghdad's Green Zone, reportedly targeting the US Embassy. The rocket was destroyed by missile defense systems; however, a child was injured by a fragment of the rocket. Also on July 5, Iraqi military sources stated that they prevented a Katyusha rocket from being launched at the Taji military base (Baghdad province), which hosts US troops.

The incidents come amid heightened tensions in the capital due to both high-level talks being instigated between Baghdad and Washington in June and a raid by Iraqi security forces on the headquarters of the Shia Iranian-backed militia group Kata'ib Hezbollah (KH) on June 26. KH was responsible for several attacks on US facilities in the lead up to the US drone strike which killed Qassem Soleimani (Former Leader of the IRGC Quds force) and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (deputy commander of the PMF and former leader of KH) on January 3. Since the strike KH and associated militias have also been responsible for a continuation of attacks on US facilities and show strong condemnation for US forces remaining in Iraq, alongside a strong alliance to Iran; they are commonly referred to as one of Tehran's strongest 'proxies' within Iraq.

Advice

Individuals in Baghdad are advised to closely monitor the situation, avoid the affected area, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.

The security environment in Iraq remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas with proper security protocols in place, other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to all travel.

 

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