An Iraqi Islamist group has claimed responsibility for a Wednesday attack on military bases that house US soldiers and foreign troops.
The group, which called itself Brigade to Avenge al-Muhandis death, an Iranian who was killed last year in a US airstrike that killed top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, said in a statement that it launched 30 rockets to “the base run by American occupiers. We will force you to leave our lands defeated,” the group said.
The spokesman for the US-led coalition, Colonel Wayne Marotto, said the Al-Assad Air Base in western Iraq was attacked on Wednesday by 14 rockets fired at the military base.
He also said some of the rockets were fired at a perimeter housing other foreign troops stationed in the western part of Iraq, which forced the foreign troops to activate defensive measures in anticipation of future escalation.
In a tweet, he said, “Update: 100 % accountability at Ain Al-Asad Air Base after a rocket attack. Two personnel sustained minor injuries. Damage still to be assessed. More details will be provided when they become available.”
Iraq’s security forces have also stated that the attackers used a mobile rocket launcher hidden in a truck within bags of flour and was stationed in a nearby village.
The statement also indicated that the rest of the rockets exploded inside the truck, which caused enormous destruction of some homes in the village and a local mosque.
The US currently has about 2500 troops in the country, and on Tuesday, there was a report of a drone attack near Erbil Airport a few meters to the US forces base.
Iran-backed militias have stepped up attacks against the US-led forces in Iraq since US airstrikes ordered by Donald Trump, then US president killed General Qassem Soleimani.
The Iranian government called the attack a provocation against the Islamic Peoples Republic, while the Iraqi government described the US airstrike as an attack on Iraq’s sovereignty.