Published January 13, 2015
Suspected pro-Saddam Hussein insurgents fired a surface-to-air missile at a U.S. military C-130 transport plane (search) as it landed at Baghdad International Airport Wednesday, but missed the target, a coalition military spokesman said.
The attack occurred at 8:45 a.m. The military said it was investigating but would give no further details about whether the plane was carrying passengers or cargo.
Military spokesman Giovanni Llorente said he also could not say where the plane was coming from.
Pentagon officials confirmed the attempted missile attack Wednesday but said they had no further details.
The C-130, like most military planes, has countermeasures that can be used to defeat surface-to-air missiles. Military pilots in hostile areas also use tactics such as flying close to the ground to make it harder for missiles to hit their planes.
Airport security is a major concern for the U.S.-led coalition. Baghdad International Airport (search) is home to an estimated 10,000 U.S. soldiers and is used to ferry troops and supplies into the capital. The United Nations and international aid agencies also use the airport in their reconstruction efforts.
L. Paul Bremer, the top U.S official in Iraq, had said he wanted to get commercial air service restarted by mid-July, but the coalition has since backed off that date, citing security concerns.
"We are still working with problems related to security, immigration and customs," Bremer said Tuesday. "We're not ready at this time."