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Rockets, Mortars Hit Air Base And Green Zone In Iraq

Mourners surround a car carrying the coffin of Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis during a funeral procession, for him and nine others, in Baghdad's district of al-Jadriya, near the high-security Green Zone. January 4, 2020

Rockets and mortars have hit an air base in Iraq, Baghdad’s Green Zone and Jadriya district, two days after a top Iranian general was killed by a U.S. drone strike, soliciting pledges of revenge from Iran.

Sirens rang out at the American compound in Baghdad, hosting both diplomats and U.S. troops, sources in the area told AFP, where two mortar rounds landed.

Two Katyusha rockets hit the Al-Balad air base 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad, where U.S. troops are stationed.

Mortar shells also hit the Al-Jadiriya district where Baghdad University is located, injuring at least five people.

According to BBC a group of military helicopters have been spotted scrambling over Baghdad in the wake of Saturday rocket attacks.

The Head of Operations of the Iraqi Hezbollah Party Brigades on Saturday evening warned the Iraqi security forces to move away from American bases starting on Sunday, Al Jazeera reported.

Earlier on Saturday, Baghdad was the scene of a large funeral for Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s extraterritorial Qods force who was killed late January 2 near Baghdad airport by a U.S. drone.

Iran on Friday vowed revenge for the targeted killing. Many analysts predict that Iran’s response will not be direct confrontation with the U.S. and more likely will take the form of attacks by proxy forces.

On Friday and Saturday Washington continued to beef up its troop presence in the region anticipating reprisal attacks. The embassy compound in the Green Zone has been reinforced by around 100 more Marines.

Reporting by AFP, Reuters, BBC