At least 10 rockets slammed into a military base in western Iraq hosting US-led coalition troops on Wednesday, security sources said, leaving one civilian contractor dead.
The attack on the sprawling Ain Al Assad base in Iraq’s western desert comes after several weeks of escalating US-Iran tensions on Iraqi soil.
It also comes just two days before the first papal visit to the country by Pope Francis.
Pope Francis said on Wednesday he is going to Iraq, where his predecessor John Paul was not allowed to go in 2000, because “the people cannot be let down for a second time.”
Speaking at the end of his general audience, Francis, who is due to start the risky trip in Baghdad on Friday, asked for prayers so that the visit “can take place in the best possible way and bring about the desired fruits.”
“For some time I have wanted to meet those people who suffered so much and meet that martyred Church,” Francis said.
“The people of Iraq are waiting for us. They were waiting for St. Pope John Paul II, who was not allowed to go. The people cannot be let down for a second time. Let us pray that this trip can be carried out well,” he said.
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