At least four soldiers were reportedly injured after eight mortar bombs fell inside Iraq's Balad Air Base which was hosting the United States troops in Iraq's Salahudin province. According to the initial reports, no casualties have been reported as of now.
The attack took place in the evening when the rockets landed on the airbase, located around 90 km from the Iraqi capital Baghdad, wounding two soldiers and causing damages to nearby buildings, a security source told news agency Xinhua on the condition of anonymity.
Balad airbase is the largest military airbase in Iraq, also known by the US forces as the Logistics Support Activity (LSA) Anaconda.
The airbase was housing a number of US troops and advisors of an American company operating the Iraqi F-16 jet fighters, but they withdrew about a week ago after the international US-led coalition announced the suspension of its operations against the Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.
Iran vs US military strength
As per the global firepower Index, the US is the most powerful military in the world followed by Russia and China; in comparison, Iran is ranked number 14. In terms of the military budget, in 2018, Iran spent $13.2 billion on its military while the United States spent a whopping $ 648.8 billion. The US has around 21, 41,900 military personnel in total including the active personnel and the reserve forces.
Iran maintains around 8,73,000 personnel including its active and reserved strength. Since military conscription is mandatory in Iran for all males over the age of 18, hence it is difficult to estimate the exact number of active reserves.
Today's attack came a few days after Qais al-Khazali, leader of the Iraqi Iran-backed Shiite militia Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq, said the Iranian initial response to the killing of the Iranian military leader is done and it is time for Iraq to respond to the US airstrike.
Al-Khazali's threat came after Iran fired ballistic missiles earlier in the day on military bases housing US troops in Iraq's western province of Anbar and near the city of Erbil, capital of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan.
Last week, a US drone attacked a convoy at Baghdad International Airport, killing Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy chief of Iraq's paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces.
More than 5,000 US troops have been deployed in Iraq to support the Iraqi forces in the battles against Islamic State militants.
(With agency inputs)