Four Iraqi Troops Wounded in Mortar Fire Against Air Base

No claims of responsibility for that attack

A flurry of explosive mortar fire hit the Iraqi air base of Balad on Sunday, wounding at least four Iraqi soldiers. It is unclear how much damage was caused, and there has been no claim of responsibility.

Some media reports were trying to present this as an attack on a “base hosting US troops,” though that is actually not the case. Iraqi officials confirmed that the US had withdrawn all trainers from Balad some time ago, and no US personnel were present.

Balad base is just north of Baghdad, and it would not be entirely out of the ordinary for some rival faction to be firing on an Iraqi military site. The interest in trying to make this about US troops, despite there not being any involved, reflects heavy tensions over the past two weeks.

Iraq has been struggling with stability, owing in part to anti-government protests, in recent months, and some armed factions are siding with the protesters as others are siding with the government. This is a common reason for exchanges of fire.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.