US condemns latest attack on Iraq military base that left four injured

A 2018 photo shows an Iraqi army soldier standing guard near a US-made Iraqi Air Force F-16 fighter jet at Balad Air Base.
A 2018 photo shows an Iraqi army soldier standing guard near a US-made Iraqi Air Force F-16 fighter jet at Balad Air Base.PHOTO: AP

WASHINGTON/TIKRIT, IRAQ (AFP, REUTERS) - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday (Jan 12) he was "outraged" by another missile attack on an Iraqi airbase where US forces have been stationed, as neighbouring Iran signalled a wish to de-escalate regional tensions.

"Outraged by reports of another rocket attack on an Iraqi airbase," Mr Pompeo tweeted.

"These continued violations of Iraq's sovereignty by groups not loyal to the Iraqi government must end."

Four people were wounded in the latest strike, which targeted Balad airbase in northern Iraq.

The Iraqi military said in a statement that eight Katyusha rockets had been fired at the base, about 80km north of the capital Baghdad, and that the four wounded included two officers.

Military sources identified the wounded as Iraqi soldiers.

They said seven mortar bombs had hit the base's runway.

There was no word of any US casualties among the US forces at the base.

The Iraqi military statement did not say who was behind the attack and made no mention of heightened tensions between the United States and Iran, which last Wednesday fired missiles at two military bases in Iraq housing US forces.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Sunday's rocket attacks.

The US previously blamed such attacks on Iran-backed groups in Iraq.