At least 10 rockets landed early Wednesday on a base housing US soldiers in western Iraq. Iraqi and Western security sources reported two days before a historic visit by Pope Francis to the country.
“Iraqi security forces are conducting the investigation”Colonel Wayne Marotto, a US spokesman for the international anti-jihadist coalition, said on Twitter. Washington regularly points to pro-Iranian armed factions as responsible for such attacks, which have increased in recent weeks.
the basis of Ain al-Assad It houses Iraqi forces, as well as troops from the US-led coalition that helps Iraq fight the remnants of the Islamic State group.
Coalition spokesman, Colonel Wayne Marotto confirmed that 10 rockets hit the base at 7:20 am (0420 GMT), but did not provide details on the victims.
For their part, Iraqi security forces said that 10 “Grad-type rockets” reached the sprawling base of Ain al-Assad on Wednesday morning, but they said that “There were no notable victims.”
Western security sources told AFP what the rockets were Iranian-made Arash models, which are 122mm artillery rockets and heavier than those seen in other attacks on Western targets in Iraq.
Dozens of roadside rocket and bomb attacks targeted Western military, diplomatic and security sites in Iraq in 2020, with Iraqi and Western military sources blaming hard-line pro-Iranian factions.
They came to a near complete halt in October after a truce with the hard line, but have resumed at a fast pace for the past three weeks.
In mid-February, rockets struck US-led coalition troops in the Kurdish regional capital Arbil, a US military contractor company that works north of the capital and the US embassy in Baghdad.
The US Air Force attacked facilities in northeastern Syria used by militias backed by the Iranian regime on Thursday, killing at least 22., in retaliation for recent rocket attacks on US troop locations in Iraq, the Pentagon said.
“Under the leadership of President (Joe) Biden, US military forces carried out airstrikes earlier tonight against infrastructure used by Iranian-backed militia groups in eastern Syria.”spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.
“This offensive was authorized in response to recent attacks on US and Coalition personnel in Iraq., and the continuous threats to that staff, “he added.
Is about the first military action ordered by President Joe Biden, who took office on January 20 to replace Donald Trump. Biden had stated his intentions to put the focus of US Foreign Policy on China, although this first action took place in the Middle East.
(With information from AFP)