July 27, 2021

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Two injured in rocket assaults on Iraqi airbase housing US troops | CNN Politics

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CNN
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Two people were injured Wednesday in a rocket attack targeting the al-Asad airbase in Iraq which hosts US, Iraqi, and coalition forces, a coalition spokesperson said.

Col. Wayne Marotto, the spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, tweeted that the airbase was attacked by 14 rockets which landed on the “base & perimeter” and that “Two personnel sustained minor injuries.” He told CNN he does not have information on the nationalities of the people injured but said “more details will be provided when available.”

Damage from the attack is still being assessed at the airbase, which is one of the largest and oldest military bases in the country.

Sharhabil al-Obaidi, the mayor of al-Baghdadi in Anbar province, told CNN that the coalition responded to the source of the launch and struck a vehicle from which the rockets were launched near the town of al-Baghdadi. Al-Obaidi said several rockets hit Iraqi army posts inside the airbase but could not provide further details.

Security officials in the town of al-Baghdadi told CNN that a house nearby the launcher was damaged in the coalition airstrike, but no casualties were reported.

No group has claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s rocket attacks, but Iran-backed militias in Iraq vowed revenge following US airstrikes on the Iraqi-Syria border region last month.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said at the time that “the targets were selected because these facilities are utilized by Iran-backed militias that are engaged in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks against US personnel and facilities in Iraq. Specifically, the US strikes targeted operational and weapons storage facilities at two locations in Syria and one location in Iraq, both of which lie close to the border between those countries.”

“As demonstrated by this evening’s strikes, President Biden has been clear that he will act to protect US personnel. Given the ongoing series of attacks by Iran-backed groups targeting US interests in Iraq, the President directed further military action to disrupt and deter such attacks,” Kirby said in a news release.

At least four Iran-backed militia fighters in Iraq and Syria were killed in those airstrikes, Iraqi militia said in a statement.



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