Iran condemns rocket attack on Baghdad airport compound
Iran has condemned a recent rocket attack on Baghdad International Airport compound, saying such “suspicious” moves are aimed at destabilizing the Arab country.
"Such suspicious actions have sparked insecurity and unrest in Iraq, paving the way for ill-wishers and seditionists, and affecting the services provided by the government for Iraqi citizens," Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Saturday regarding the attack, which targeted Victory military base housing occupying US forces at the airport the previous day.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran has always supported the establishment and preservation of security in Iraq, the development of the country’s progress, and the pervasiveness of Iraq’s security and integration. It also supports the Iraqi government’s measures in creating stability."
According to a statement released by the Iraqi military, six rockets struck Baghdad airport early on Friday, damaging two commercial planes but causing no casualties.
Reports said a total of 10 rockets were fired during the attack. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet, which is the latest in a series of assaults that have targeted US occupation forces over the past few months.
The incident came as anti-American sentiments have been on the rise in Iraq since the assassination of Iran’s top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and his Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, second-in-command of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) or Hashd al-Sha’abi, in a US drone strike near Baghdad airport on January 3, 2020.
Iraq’s Shia Coordination Framework denounced Friday’s incident as “a criminal terrorist act” meant to “provoke sedition and provide pretexts for interventions that want to find disagreements among the nation's sons.”
Also, former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki took to Twitter to condemn the “treacherous” rocket attack.
“The purpose of these attacks is to damage the attempts, made by the Interior Ministry to provide security and services, and send a negative message to the world about Iraqi airlines and airports,” he said.
“The responsibility for confronting these efforts and criminal acts lies on all of us and security agencies.”
Additionally, Abu Ali al-Askari, a security official from Kata’ib Hezbollah resistance group, said in a tweet, “The policy of disrupting the situation pursued by the election fraudsters and corrupters has no benefits for them. In the latest case, which is the rocket attack on Baghdad airport, sincere security officials and PMU forces must identify the mercenaries and their supporters.”
PMU foils Daesh infiltration into Tarmia
In a separate development on Friday, PMU fighters thwarted an infiltration act by Daesh terrorists in Baghdad’s Tarmia district.
In a statement, the PMU said, "A video showed a group of 13 ISIS (Daesh) terrorist members tried to reach the security points of the 12th Brigade in the Al-Tarmiyah, and our forces confronted them and forced them to flee."
Daesh began a terror campaign in Iraq in 2014, overrunning vast swathes in lightning attacks.
The PMU played a major role in reinforcing the Iraqi army, which had initially suffered heavy setbacks in the face of Daesh gains.