Staff evacuated as rocket strikes near foreign oil firms in Iraq
A rocket hit a site in southern Iraq used by foreign oil companies on Wednesday, including U.S. energy giant ExxonMobil, wounding three people and threatening to further escalate U.S.-Iran tensions in the region.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack near Iraq’s southern city of Basra, the fourth time in a week that rockets have struck near U.S. installations.
Three previous attacks on or near military bases housing U.S. forces near Baghdad and Mosul caused no casualties or major damage. None of those incidents were claimed.
An Iraqi security source said it appeared that Iran-backed groups were behind the Basra incident.
“According to our sources, the team (that launched the rocket) is made up of more than one group and were well trained in missile launching,” the security source said.
He said they had received a tip-off several days ago that the U.S. consulate in Basra might be targeted but were taken by surprise when the rocket hit the oil site.
Hostility between the United States and Iran has been rising since President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and other world powers in May last year…….read more