Iraq: Rocket hits site housing several global oil companies in Basra, 2 injured

Basra: In the latest attack on oil infrastructure in the Middle East, a rocket struck at the site housing headquarters of several global oil companies in Iraq’s southern city of Basra on Wednesday morning.

Two Iraqi workers sustained injuries in the incident. The rocket hit the Burjesia residential and operations headquarters west of the city, police said.

The area also houses a branch of US multinational oil and gas corporation Exxon Mobil. A local security official told Al Jazeera that Exxon has evacuated some 20 foreign staff following the incident. Other companies operating at the site include Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Italian Eni SpA.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which has come days after two explosions occurred on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. The incident had occurred near the Strait of Hormuz, which is a key transit route for oil and gas from the Middle East.

Although it remains unclear who was responsible for the attacks on the oil tankers, the US has put the blame on Iran, which, in turn, has denied the allegations. To back its claim, the US released a blurry video which, the country believed, showed the boat crew of Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) removing an unexploded mine from one of the tankers shortly after the attack.

The US stance was echoed by Saudi Arabia and Britain. Russia, on the other hand, came to Iran’s support and warned against “hasty conclusions” over the incident.