Rockets hit airbase in Iraq internet hosting US troops

Ain al-Asad air base within the western Anbar desert, Iraq, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019.

Nasser Nasser | AP

A minimum of 10 rockets focused a navy base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, the coalition and the Iraqi navy mentioned. It was not instantly identified if there have been any casualties.

The rockets struck Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar province at 7:20 a.m., spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto mentioned.

Later, the Iraqi navy launched an announcement saying the assault didn’t trigger important losses and that safety forces had discovered the launch pad used for the missiles.

It was the primary assault for the reason that U.S. struck Iran-aligned militia targets alongside the Iraq-Syria border final week, stoking fears of a potential repeat of a collection of tit-for-tat assaults that escalated final yr, culminating within the U.S.-directed strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani outdoors the Baghdad airport.

Wednesday’s assault comes two days earlier than Pope Francis’ is scheduled to go to Iraq in a a lot anticipated journey that may embody Baghdad, southern Iraq and within the northern metropolis of Irbil.

The U.S. strike alongside the border had been in response to a spate of rocket assaults that focused the American presence, together with one which killed a coalition contractor from the Philippines outdoors the Irbil airport.

After that assault, the Pentagon mentioned the strike was a “proportionate navy response” taken after consulting coalition companions.

Marotto mentioned the Iraqi safety forces have been main an investigation into the assault on Ain al-Asad.

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