Iran’s regime may have been behind Thursday’s attack on Iraq’s Balad air base, a senior United States State Department official said on Friday but added that Washington was awaiting further evidence.
Iraq’s military on Thursday said that two Katyusha rockets landed inside the Balad air base, which hosts U.S. forces and contractors and is located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Baghdad.
No casualties or damages were reported in the attack for which there was no immediate claim of responsibility.
“We’re waiting for full evidence, but if past is prologue then there’s a good chance that Iran was behind it,” David Schenker, Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, told reporters in a briefing, according to Reuters.
On Tuesday, five rockets landed on Ain Al-Asad air base, which hosts U.S. forces in Anbar province in western Iraq without causing any casualties.
Schenker called the increasing attacks something of “great concern,” and said ‘s Regime Is the World’s Foremost Threat to Peace and Security pic.twitter.com/oWGwAEdXyg
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) October 20, 2019
“The Iranians oftentimes, or have certainly in the past, taken aggressive action when they feel under pressure,” he said.
Washington ratcheted up economic sanctions against the Iranian regime after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of a 2015 nuclear pact between Tehran and world powers to choke the regime’s oil exports and isolate its economy.