Sun. Apr 11th, 2021

Iraq navy base utilized by U.S. troops hit in rocket assault

Baghdad — No less than 10 rockets focused a navy base in western Iraq that hosts about 2,000 U.S. troops on Wednesday, American and Iraqi navy officers mentioned. 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., in line with Col. Wayne Marotto, a spokesman for the U.S.-led navy coalition.
The Iraqi navy launched an announcement later saying the assault didn’t trigger important losses and that safety forces had discovered the launch pad used for the missiles. An Iraqi official mentioned it was discovered within the al-Baghdadi space of Anbar, talking on situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t permitted to transient media.

There was no fast declare of duty for the assault, however an analogous, larger-scale rocket strike on the identical base a 12 months in the past by Iranian-backed militias introduced the U.S. to the brink of battle with Iran.


A picture from video posted to Twitter by Mustafa al-Dulaimi reveals what’s left of a flatbed truck that Iraqi forces consider was used as a cellular launch pad to hold out a rocket assault on Ain al-Asad airbase in western Iraq, which hosts tons of of U.S. forces, on March 3, 2021.

Twitter/Mustafa al-Dulaimi

The rocket salvo on Wednesday was the primary assault because the U.S. struck Iran-aligned militia targets alongside the Iraq-Syria border final week, killing one militiaman and stoking fears of a potential repeat of a sequence 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.

Wednesday’s assault focused the identical base that 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 have been injured, struggling concussions in that strike. As David Martin reported for “60 Minutes,” the strike was the biggest ever ballistic missile assault towards People. 

The assault on Al Asad Airbase


His report for “60 Minutes” gave a first-time have a look at drone video of the assault and he spoke with among the American troops who have been there on the evening that introduced the U.S. and Iran nearer than ever to all-out battle.

Denmark, which additionally has troops on the base, condemned the assault, saying that coalition forces at Ain al-Asad are there on the invitation of the Iraqi authorities, serving to to carry stability and safety to the nation. 

“Despicable assaults towards Ain al-Asad base in #Iraq are fully unacceptable,” Danish International Minister Jeppe Kofod tweeted. The Danish armed forces mentioned two Danes, who have been within the camp on the time of the assault, are unhurt.

Despicable assaults towards Ain al-Asad base in #Iraq are fully unacceptable. Reviews nonetheless coming in.@coalition forces are working for stabilization & safety on Iraq govt. invitation

Denmark stays dedicated, will coordinate intently with our companions and allies.#dkpol

— Jeppe Kofod (@JeppeKofod) March 3, 2021

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 Erbil.
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 mentioned the strike was a “proportionate navy response” taken after consulting coalition companions.
Marotto mentioned the Iraqi safety forces have been main an investigation into the assault on Ain al-Asad.

Preliminary report: 10 IDF rockets focused an Iraqi navy base, Al Asad Airbase, internet hosting Coalition troops, on March 03, 2021 at approx 7:20 a.m. (Iraqi time). Iraqi SF are main the response & investigation. Additional data will probably be launched because it turns into out there.

— OIR Spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto (@OIRSpox) March 3, 2021

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 by the Iranian-backed militias that function in Iraq, focusing on the closely fortified Inexperienced Zone that homes the U.S. Embassy, throughout President Donald Trump’s time in workplace pissed off the administration, resulting in threats of embassy closure and escalatory strikes.

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