Mortar attack on Iraqi base home to US troops, no casualties

The current crisis is rooted in the US withdrawal last year from the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers. (File/AFP)
Updated 15 June 2019
0

Mortar attack on Iraqi base home to US troops, no casualties

  • The military statement says the attack on Balad air base occurred early Saturday
  • The attack comes amid rising tension in the Middle East between the US and Iran

BAGHDAD: The Iraqi military says three mortar shells have hit an air base just north of Baghdad where American trainers are present, causing a small fire but no casualties.
The military statement says the attack on Balad air base occurred early Saturday.
The attack comes amid rising tension in the Middle East between the United States and Iran, which ratcheted up on Thursday after suspected attacks on two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz. Iran has denied involvement.
Last month, a rocket exploded less than a mile away from the US Embassy in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone.
The current crisis is rooted in the US withdrawal last year from the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers. Washington subsequently re-imposed sanctions on Iran, sending its economy into freefall.


Stena Impero operator says tanker’s crew safe and well

Updated 49 min 49 sec ago
0

Stena Impero operator says tanker’s crew safe and well

  • ‘... they’re all okay and in good health and they’re getting good cooperation with the Iranians on board the vessel’

STOCKHOLM: All 23 crew on a British-flagged tanker seized last week by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz are safe and well, the vessel’s Swedish operator Stena Bulk said on Wednesday after speaking to them.

Iran said on Saturday it had seized the Stena Impero because it had collided with a fishing boat. Stena Bulk has said it has received no evidence of such a collision.

“We had direct contact with the crew on board the vessel last night by telephone and they’re all okay and in good health and they’re getting good cooperation with the Iranians on board,” the firm’s spokesman Pat Adamson said.

Its CEO Erik Hanell said he hoped Tuesday’s contact was “a first sign that we will soon see more positive progress from the Iranian authorities.”

Britain described the seizure as piracy and called on Monday for a European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping through the Strait, a strategic waterway for oil transportation.

Adamson said the next step for the operator would be to try and get somebody on board to check up on the crew, but that he had no timeline for when the crew might be repatriated.

“We haven’t had any direct response from the Iranian authorities about visiting the vessel as yet but we hope we will have that soon,” he said.

“All the appropriate governments and embassies are supporting and helping us.”