Rocket attack hits northern Iraq base hosting United States troops

KIRKUK IRAQ- MARCH 20 People gather around the fire during the Newroz celebrations

KIRKUK IRAQ- MARCH 20 People gather around the fire during the Newroz celebrations

There have been no immediate reports of casualties.

An Iraqi base where American troops are stationed was hit in a rocket attack, Iraqi and US security sources tell AFP.

According to three separate Iraqi security sources, the Katyusha rocket hit the K1 base at around 8:45 p.m. local time and United States military aircraft immediately began flying low over the area.

Last time the K1 base was attacked was on 27 December, when a United States contractor was killed there in a rocket assault Washington blamed on the Kataeb Hezbollah military group.

Supporters of the group then surrounded the USA embassy in Baghdad, breaking through its outer perimeter in an unprecedented breach on the mission.

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The U.S. then carried out retaliatory strikes that left 25 Hezbollah Brigade fighters dead and, days later, killed Iran's point man on Iraqi affairs Qasem Soleimani.

The attack infuriated Shiite Iraqi lawmakers who voted to oust US troops from the country in a January 3 Parliament session.

In response to Soleimani's killing, Iran carried out a missile attack at Ain al-Asad base in western Iraq which stationed U.S. troops.

Iran and the US have since refrained from further escalation, but the issue of American troops has monopolized Iraqi politics.

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