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Rockets in Iraq strike airbase hosting US-led troops

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Casualties weren’t instantly identified. It was the primary assault for the reason that U.S. struck Iran-aligned militia targets alongside the Iraq-Syria border final week.

BAGHDAD, Iraq — At the very least 10 rockets focused a army base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, the coalition and the Iraqi army stated. It was not instantly identified if there have been any casualties. The rockets struck Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar province at 7:20 a.m., spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto stated.

Later, the Iraqi army launched an announcement saying the assault didn’t trigger vital losses and that safety forces had discovered the launch pad used for the missiles. An Iraqi army official stated they’d been discovered within the al-Baghdadi space of Anbar, talking on situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t permitted to temporary media.

It was the primary assault for the reason that U.S. struck Iran-aligned militia targets alongside the Iraq-Syria border final week that killed one militiaman, stoking fears of a attainable repeat of a collection of tit-for-tat assaults that escalated final 12 months, culminating within the U.S.-directed drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani exterior the Baghdad airport.

RELATED: US airstrike, first beneath President Biden, kills Iran-backed militiaman

Wednesday’s assault focused the identical base the place Iran struck with a barrage of missiles in January final 12 months in retaliation for the killing of Soleimani. Dozens of U.S. service members had been injured, struggling concussions in that strike

Wednesday’s assault comes two days earlier than Pope Francis’ is scheduled to go to Iraq in a a lot anticipated journey that may embody Baghdad, southern Iraq and within the northern metropolis of Irbil.

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RELATED: Iran fires again at US with missile assault at bases in Iraq

Final week’s U.S. strike alongside the border had been in response to a spate of rocket assaults that focused the American presence, together with one which killed a coalition contractor from the Philippines exterior the Irbil airport.

After that assault, the Pentagon stated the strike was a “proportionate army response” taken after consulting coalition companions.

Marotto stated the Iraqi safety forces had been main an investigation into the assault on Ain al-Asad.

U.S. troops in Iraq considerably decreased their presence within the nation final 12 months beneath the Trump administration. The forces withdrew from a number of Iraqi based mostly throughout the nation to consolidate mainly in Ain al-Asad and Baghad.

Frequent rocket assaults concentrating on the closely fortified Inexperienced Zone, which homes the U.S. Embassy, throughout President Donald Trump’s time in workplace annoyed the administration, resulting in threats of embassy closure and escalatory strikes.

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