Armored vehicles of Iraq’s Iran-backed Popular Mobilisation Forces militias in Balad,  November 25, 2017. (AFP)

August 21, 2019

Several blasts hit a position held by Iraqi Shiite paramilitaries next to Balad air base north of Baghdad on Tuesday, an Iraqi military official and a source in a paramilitary group said.

Balad base hosts US forces and contractors and is located about 80 km north of Baghdad. An Iraqi Shiite militia group, which is backed by Iran, is stationed nearby.

The military official said the intended target of the blasts was the militia’s position near the base. The paramilitary source said his group’s weapons depot was specifically targeted by an aerial bombardment.

The US-led coalition could not immediately be reached for comment. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Witnesses said the explosions caused stored rockets to fly into nearby orchards and into Balad base itself.

Reuters

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.