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Iraq: Plane damaged after multiple rockets target Baghdad airport

Rockets fired at airport compound and adjacent US air base hit disused civilian plane but did not cause casualties
A damaged stationary aircraft on the tarmac of Baghdad airport, after rockets reportedly targeted the runway (AFP)

Several rockets were fired at Baghdad International Airport compound and near an adjacent US air base at dawn on Friday, damaging one disused civilian aeroplane, Iraqi police sources said.

The sources did not report any other damage or any injuries. The damaged aircraft was an out-of-use Iraqi Airways plane, they said.

The rockets landed on the airport's runways or parking areas, a security source told AFP.

A second security source said six rockets had fallen around civil installations at the airport, while a third source identified the plane as a Boeing 767.

Iraqi Airways posted on its social media pages pictures of the damage, consisting of a hole near the nose of the plane that was out of service and stationary at the time of impact.

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No flights were affected by the attack, the airline added.

Citing the country's aviation authority, Iraq's state news agency also said there had been no disruption to travel.

The US air base, known as Camp Victory, is located around the perimeter of Baghdad's civilian airport.

The attack was not immediately claimed.

Series of attacks

A series of attacks this month, some of which the United States blames on Iran-aligned militia groups, have targeted bases or installations hosting US military and diplomatic personnel in Iraq, but have caused no US casualties.

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Pro-Iran militias have in previous years carried out dozens of similar attacks, mostly causing little harm, but the assaults have become more sophisticated in the past year, including the use of fixed-wing and multi-rotor drones.

Last month, political and security leaders told Middle East Eye that Iran-backed Shia armed factions had been thrown a lifeline by US forces not fully withdrawing from Iraq by the end of the year.

The US-led coalition ended its combat mission in Iraq in December, four years after the Baghdad government declared victory over Islamic State.

However, roughly 2,500 US soldiers and 1,000 coalition soldiers will remain deployed in Iraq to offer training, advice and assistance to national forces.

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