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US deploys weapon system at key base in Iraq after rocket attack

The US military has reportedly deployed a C-RAM weapon system at a key base near Baghdad International Airport, hours after a number of rockets targeted the facility.

Iraq’s Nas news agency reported on Friday that a C-RAM system — which is used to intercept and destroy incoming rockets, artillery and mortar rounds — had been stationed to protect Camp Victory, shortly after three rockets landed in the vicinity of the base.

In addition, US warplanes conducted aerial patrols over the heavily-secured Green Zone in the capital, Baghdad, which hosts Iraqi government institutions and foreign diplomatic missions.

This is the second such deployment in a week with the declared goal of protecting American positions and interests in Iraq. The first C-RAM system, which had been transferred to the site last Friday, failed to successfully counter today’s raid.

The US does not coordinate the deployment of such systems with the Baghdad government, in what is seen as a violation of Washington-Baghdad agreements on the future of the American military presence in the Arab country.

There has been a sharp rise in attacks on US positions in Iraq, amid anger among the Arab country’s public over Washington’s refusal to respect a law adopted by the parliament last year requiring foreign troops to leave Iraqi soil.

That law was approved in the aftermath of the US military’s assassination of senior Iranian commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) near the Baghdad airport in January 2020.

The assassinations fueled anti-US sentiment among Iraqis and led to an outcry against foreign military presence in the Arab country.

On April 8, Iraq and the US said they had agreed on the eventual withdrawal of US “combat” troops from Iraq, and that the two sides would hold talks to work out the timing. The mission of US forces is now supposed to be focused on what is claimed to be “training” Iraqi troops to fight Daesh.

Iraqi resistance groups have warned that they will treat the American troops as occupying forces and take up arms against them if they refuse to leave their country.

-US weapon system

 

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