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US Ain al-Asad airbase in Iraq hit by rockets

International desk || shiningbd

Published: 15:13, 3 March 2021  
US Ain al-Asad airbase in Iraq hit by rockets

At least 10 rockets have landed at Ain al-Asad airbase in the western Iraqi province of Anbar, according to the Iraqi military and the US-led coalition forces.

At least 10 rockets have landed at Ain al-Asad airbase in the western Iraqi province of Anbar, according to the Iraqi military and the US-led coalition forces.

The rockets struck the airbase, which hosts the US, coalition, and Iraqi forces, at 7:20 am local time (04:20 GMT), Colonel Wayne Marotto, spokesman for the US-led coalition forces in the country, said on Wednesday on Twitter.

The attack caused no significant losses, the Iraqi military said without going into further detail. A Baghdad Operations Command official told Reuters news agency earlier that about 13 rockets were launched from a location about 8km (5 miles) from the base, which is in western Anbar province.

Another Iraqi security source and a government official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the rockets were launched from the Baiader area.

It was the first attack since the US said it had attacked Iran-aligned militia targets along the Iraq-Syria border last week.

The attack comes two days before Pope Francis is due to visit Iraq.

The March 5-8 visit comes despite deteriorating security in some parts of the country, which has recently seen a suicide bombing in Baghdad, the first big attack in three years.

On February 16, a rocket attack on US-led forces in northern Iraq killed a civilian contractor and injured a US service member. Marotto said the Iraqi security forces were leading an investigation into the attack on Ain al-Asad.

US troops in Iraq significantly decreased their presence in the country last year under former President Donald Trump’s administration. The forces withdrew from several Iraqi based across the country to consolidate chiefly in Ain al-Asad and Baghdad.

Frequent rocket attacks targeting the heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses the US Embassy, during Trump’s time in the office frustrated the administration, leading to threats of embassy closure and escalators strikes.

ShiningBD/MB