Two injured in rocket assaults on Iraqi airbase housing US troops

Two injured in rocket attacks on Iraqi airbase housing US troops

2021-07-08 01:33:45

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 accidents.”

A Pentagon spokesperson later confirmed that the service members injured have been American.

“I can verify two US service members had the minor accidents in right now’s assault at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq,” Pentagon Spokesperson Commander Jessica McNulty mentioned

Harm from the assault remains to be being assessed on the airbase, which is among the largest and oldest army bases within the nation.

Sharhabil al-Obaidi, the mayor of al-Baghdadi in Anbar province, informed CNN that the coalition responded to the supply of the launch and struck a car from which the rockets have been launched close to the city of al-Baghdadi. Al-Obaidi mentioned a number of rockets hit Iraqi military posts contained in the airbase however couldn’t present additional particulars.

Safety officers within the city of al-Baghdadi informed CNN {that a} home close by the launcher was broken within the coalition airstrike, however no casualties have been reported.

The Iraqi army mentioned in an announcement that the rocket launcher additionally prompted harm to a number of homes and a close-by mosque after a number of rockets on its board exploded.

Iraqi army spokesman Yahya Rasool described the incident and different latest assaults focusing on diplomatic missions as “terrorist assaults” in an announcement Wednesday.

Diplomatic missions, he mentioned, are beneath the safety of the state and any assault towards them are “a flagrant violation of all legal guidelines, and an assault on the status of the state and its worldwide commitments.”

No group has claimed accountability for Wednesday’s rocket assaults, however Iran-backed militias in Iraq vowed revenge following US airstrikes on the Iraqi-Syria border area final month.

On Wednesday afternoon State Division spokesperson Ned Worth steered that latest rocket assaults on bases in Iraq have been carried out by Iran-backed militias however famous that he “would not wish to prejudge investigations which might be ongoing.”

“As we have now mentioned within the context of assaults which have taken place in latest months, they’ve been carried out by Iran-backed militias and President Biden in flip has responded, responded in numerous methods however after all, maybe most visibly by authorizing the army strikes most not too long ago, late final month but in addition, earlier than that as properly on Iran-backed militia infrastructure in Iraq and Syria,” he mentioned at a briefing.

“I would not wish to communicate to the motivation of those assaults. I’ll say that what we acknowledge is that these assaults mirror and are consultant of the menace that Iran-backed militias current essentially to Iraq’s sovereignty, and to Iraq’s stability,” he added.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby mentioned on the time that “the targets have been chosen as a result of these amenities are utilized by Iran-backed militias which might be engaged in unmanned aerial car (UAV) assaults towards US personnel and amenities in Iraq. Particularly, the US strikes focused operational and weapons storage amenities at two areas in Syria and one location in Iraq, each of which lie near the border between these international locations.”

“As demonstrated by this night’s strikes, President Biden has been clear that he’ll act to guard US personnel. Given the continuing collection of assaults by Iran-backed teams focusing on US pursuits in Iraq, the President directed additional army motion to disrupt and deter such assaults,” Kirby mentioned in a information launch.

At the least 4 Iran-backed militia fighters in Iraq and Syria have been killed in these airstrikes, Iraqi militia mentioned in an announcement.

This story has been up to date with further info Wednesday.

CNN’s Oren Liebermann, Barbara Starr and Hamdi Alkhshali, Jennifer Hansler and Christian Sierra contributed to this report.

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