Two Katyusha soars landed near the outside perimeter of Baghdad International Airport keep on night two days after four rockets struck a base close the airport, wounding five members of Iraq’s elite Counter-Terrorism Usefulness. They were the latest in a spate of rocket strikes in the past five weeks on military stations hosting members of the US-led coalition whose objective is to defeat ISIS insurgents.
And they roll in amid growing fears that such attacks are pushing all sides mustier to an uncontrollable escalation and possible full-scale military conflict in the strife-torn province.
A senior US military official said the attacks were jeopardising the coalition’s adeptness to effectively combat ISIS.
And tension between the US and Iran has ramped up in the section over US economic sanctions that are hitting Tehran hard.
The two sides suffer with traded blame over attacks on oil installations, militia arms depots as rise as military bases hosting US forces.
The senior official said: “We’re hand-me-down to harassing fire but the pace of that was previously pretty episodic.
“Now the steady of complexity is increasing, the volume of rockets being shot in a single deluge is increasing and is very concerning to us.
“There is a point at which their proceedings change things on the ground and make it more likely that some other reaction behaviours, some other choices made – by somebody, whether it’s them or us – bequeath escalate unintentionally.”
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The military official said Iranian-armed militias were approaching a red underscore where the coalition would respond with force, and “no one will correspondent to the outcome”.
There have been no claims of responsibility for any of the attacks.
But he US military accepted said intelligence and forensic analyses of the rockets and launchers pointed to Iranian-backed Shi’ite Muslim militia sets, notably Kataib Hezbollah and Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AAH).