Sun. Apr 11th, 2021

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

Baghdad — Not less than 10 rockets focused a army base in western Iraq that hosts about 2,000 U.S. troops on Wednesday, American and Iraqi army officers stated. A U.S. protection official instructed CBS Information nationwide safety correspondent David Martin there have been no reported casualties amongst U.S. or coalition troops, however one American civilian contractor, who had taken cowl in a bunker on the bottom, died of a coronary heart assault throughout the rocket strike.   

The rockets struck Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar province at 7:20 a.m., in response to Col. Wayne Marotto, a spokesman for the U.S.-led army coalition.

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

There was no speedy declare of duty for the assault, however the same, 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 warfare with Iran.


A picture from video posted to Twitter by Mustafa al-Dulaimi exhibits what’s left of a flatbed truck that Iraqi forces consider was used as a cell launch pad to hold out a rocket assault on Ain al-Asad airbase in western Iraq, which hosts a whole bunch 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 attainable 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 most important ever ballistic missile assault in opposition to People. 

The assault on Al Asad Airbase


His report for “60 Minutes” gave a first-time take 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 warfare.

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 convey stability and safety to the nation. 

“Despicable assaults in opposition to Ain al-Asad base in #Iraq are utterly unacceptable,” Danish International 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.

Despicable assaults in opposition to Ain al-Asad base in #Iraq are utterly unacceptable. Experiences nonetheless coming in.@coalition forces are working for stabilization & safety on Iraq govt. invitation

Denmark stays dedicated, will coordinate carefully 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 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.

Preliminary report: 10 IDF rockets focused an Iraqi army 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 info might be launched because it turns into accessible.

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

U.S. troops in Iraq considerably decreased their presence within the nation final 12 months below 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, concentrating 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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