Sunday, 09 May, 2021


One dead after several rockets slam into military base in Iraq

Iraq air base Iraq: Civilian contractor dies in rocket attack on base hosting US troops
Patty Aguilar | 03 March, 2021, 18:48

A US contractor died Wednesday when at least 10 rockets slammed into an airbase housing USA and other coalition troops in western Iraq, the Pentagon said.

The Ain al-Asad base in the western Iraqi province of Al-Anbar was targeted by rockets, the Saberin Telegram channel reported on Wednesday. It was not immediately known if there were any casualties.

Wednesday's attack targeted the same base where Iran struck with a barrage of missiles in January a year ago in retaliation for the killing of Soleimani.

Wednesday's attack comes two days before Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Iraq in a much-anticipated trip that will include Baghdad, southern Iraq and the northern city of Irbil.

Denmark said coalition forces at the base were helping to bring stability and security to the country. He said there were no service members injured, and all were accounted for.

Iraq's military said the rockets caused no significant losses at Al Asad air base, but security sources told AFP news agency that a civilian contractor died after suffering a heart attack.

Shafaq News also quoted a security official as confirming the news and reporting that the United States coalition base in Ain al-Asad was targeted by four Katyusha rockets.

The US blamed Iran-backed Shia militias and carried out retaliatory air strikes on one of their facilities in Syria. Iran's actions were in response to the US killing of Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

The attack on the sprawling Ain al-Assad base in Iraq's western desert is the fourth time in less than three weeks that rockets hit a Western installation in the country.

A deadly rocket attack in December 2019 kicked off a series of escalations that culminated with the drone strike in Baghdad and Tehran's launch of over a dozen ballistic missiles targeting al Asad and the airfield in Irbil.

Previous attacks have drawn a response from Washington and as Breitbart News reported, just last Friday the Pentagon said it had domestic and multinational legal authorities under the U.S. Constitution and United Nations worldwide law, respectively, to conduct lethal retaliatory airstrikes in Syria against Iran-backed militia groups behind the attacks. The attack early Wednesday is the first since, and Marotto said Iraqi security forces were investigating it.

Pope Francis said his planned visit to Iraq on Friday would go ahead despite the latest violence.

Last week's USA strike along the border was in response to a spate of rocket attacks that targeted the American presence, including one that killed a coalition contractor from the Philippines outside the Irbil airport.

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