Rockets hit airbase in Iraq’s Ain al-Asad base hosting US troops

Rockets hit airbase in Iraq's Ain al-Asad base hosting US troops
FILE - This Dec. 29, 2019, aerial file photo taken from a helicopter shows Ain al-Asad air base. Source: AP
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Daily US Times: At least 10 rockets targeted Ain al-Asad military base in western Iraq that hosts US-led coalition troops on Wednesday, the Iraqi and coalition military said. It was not immediately clear if there were any casualties.

The rockets struck in the airbase in Anbar province at 7:20 a.m., coalition spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said. No one claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

A statement from Iraqi military said the attack did not cause significant losses and that security forces had found the launch pad used for the rockets. An Iraqi military official said on condition of anonymity to discuss the attack with the media that the launch pad was found in the al-Baghdadi area of Anbar.

It was the first attack since the US struck Iran-aligned militia targets along the Iraq-Syria border last week.

The US air strike killed one militiaman and stoking fears of a possible repeat of a series of tit-for-tat attacks that escalated last year, culminating in the US drone strike that killed Iranian General Qassim Soleimani outside the Baghdad airport.

Wednesday’s attack targeted the same base where Iran attacked with a barrage of missiles in January last year in retaliation for the killing of the top Irani military leader Soleimani. Dozens of US service members were injured by the attack, suffering concussions in that strike.

Stephen Hickey, the British Ambassador to Iraq, condemned the attack, saying it undermined the ongoing fight against the Islamic State group.

He tweeted, “Coalition forces are in Iraq to fight Daesh at the invitation of the Iraqi government. These terrorist attacks undermine the fight against Daesh and destabilize Iraq.”

Denmark, which like the US and Britain also has troops at the base, said coalition forces at Ain al-Asad base were helping to bring stability and security to the country.

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