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 recognized if there have been any casualties.
The rockets struck Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar province at 7:20 a.m., coalition spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto stated. Nobody claimed duty for the assault.
The Iraqi army launched a press release saying the assault didn’t trigger vital losses and that safety forces had discovered the launch pad used for the rockets. It was discovered within the al-Baghdadi space of Anbar, an Iraqi army official stated on situation of anonymity to debate the assault with the media.
It was the primary assault because the U.S. struck Iran-aligned militia targets alongside the Iraq-Syria border final week, killing killed one militiaman and stoking fears of a doable repeat of a sequence of tit-for-tat assaults that escalated final yr, culminating within the U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani exterior the Baghdad airport.
Wednesday’s assault focused the identical base the place Iran struck with a barrage of missiles in January final yr in retaliation for the killing of Soleimani. Dozens of U.S. service members have been injured, struggling concussions in that strike.
British Ambassador to Iraq Stephen Hickey condemned the assault, saying it undermined the continuing battle towards the Islamic State group. “Coalition forces are in Iraq to battle Daesh on the invitation of the Iraqi authorities,” he tweeted, utilizing the Arabic acronym for IS. “These terrorist assaults undermine the battle towards Daesh and destabilize Iraq.”
Denmark, which just like the U.S. and Britain additionally has troops on the base, stated coalition forces at Ain al-Asad have been serving to to carry stability and safety to the nation.
“Despicable assaults towards Ain al-Asad base in #Iraq are utterly unacceptable,” Danish Overseas Minister Jeppe Kofod tweeted. The Danish armed forces stated two Danes, who have been within the camp on the time of the assault, are unhurt.
Wednesday’s assault comes two days earlier than Pope Francis’ is scheduled to go to Iraq in a a lot anticipated journey that can embody Baghdad, southern Iraq and within the northern metropolis of Irbil.
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 have been main an investigation into the assault on Ain al-Asad.
U.S. troops in Iraq considerably decreased their presence within the nation final yr beneath the Trump administration. The forces withdrew from a number of Iraqi primarily based 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.