U.S Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo says he was “outraged” by another missile attack on an Iraqi air base where U.S forces have been stationed, as neighboring Iran signalled a wish to de-escalate tensions.
“Outraged by reports of another rocket attack on an Iraqi airbase,” Pompeo tweeted. “These continued violations of Iraq’s sovereignty by groups not loyal to the Iraqi government must end.”
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Sunday’s rocket attacks, in which the Iraqi military said eight missiles wounded two Iraqi officers and two airmen.
The U.S has previously blamed such attacks on Iran-backed groups in Iraq.
Military sources told AFP that the Al-Balad base had held a small U.S Air Force contingent, as well as American contractors, but most were evacuated following a sharp rise in friction between the U.S and Iran over the past two weeks.
Al-Balad is the main airbase for Iraq’s F-16s, which it bought from the US.
Military bases hosting US troops have been subject in recent months to rocket and mortar attacks that have mostly wounded Iraqi forces, but also killed one American contractor last month.
That death set off a series of dramatic developments, with the US carrying out deadly strikes against a pro-Iran paramilitary group in Iraq as well as a convoy carrying top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani outside the Baghdad airport.
Pro-Iran factions in Iraq have vowed revenge for those raids.