(MENAFN- Nam News Network)
BAGHDAD, Jan 29 (NNN-NINA) – A rocket attack, targetting the Baghdad International Airport yesterday, which damaged two civilian planes and the airport's runway, was aimed at isolating Iraq internationally, by undermining its reputation, Iraqi officials said.
The rocket attack on the airport“represents a new attempt to undermine Iraq's reputation, which we have endeavoured to restore regionally and internationally, through endangering international flight standards at Iraqi airports and spreading an atmosphere of suspicion about internal security,” Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, was quoted as saying, in a statement by his media office.
Al-Kadhimi called upon all political parties to“express their clear rejection and condemnation of this dangerous attack, as silence on such attacks is a political shelter for criminals.”
The prime minister urged the international community“not to impose restrictions on travel or air transportation to and from Iraq” as part of the efforts to“deter terrorists from achieving their goal.”
Earlier, a source in the Iraqi interior ministry said, the rocket strike was directed at Victory Base, a military air base around the international airport that houses several U.S. experts and organisations.
Four rockets were shot down by the air defence system, while another two hit targets, including a civilian plane, the source said, adding, no casualties were reported in the attack.
According to a statement released by the media office of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC), unidentified militias fired six Katyusha rockets on the area of Baghdad International Airport, damaging two civilian planes.
Iraqi security forces spotted a rocket launcher with three unfired rockets in the Abu Ghraib area, in the north of the airport and defused them, the statement said.
The security forces launched an investigation into the incident and found some clues about the perpetrators, who will be brought to justice, the JOC statement added.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, but militias frequently target Iraqi military bases housing U.S. military advisors across Iraq, as well as, the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
Flights have resumed at all airports around the country, including Baghdad International Airport, according to the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority.
Following the attack, the Sadrist bloc, led by famous Shiite cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr, promised in a tweet to“free Iraq from terrorism and uncontrolled weaponry.”
In a separate tweet, Hassan al-Adhari, head of the Sadrist Movement, said, targeting“government facilities, in particular Baghdad International Airport, is one of the actions of Iraq's enemies, who seek to isolate Iraq internationally and economically.”
In a statement, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, voiced its great concern regarding the ongoing wave of attacks in Iraq, targeting political party offices, residences, and businesses, including the recent rocket attack on Baghdad International Airport.
The statement urged all Iraqi parties“to move beyond condemnations and swiftly pull together to expose those behind it (attack).”– NNN-NINA
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