On March 2nd, pro-Iranian groups in Iraq fired upon the Ain al-Asad air base in the Iraqi Anbar province.
UPDATE: One individual reportedly died of cardiac arrest while the attack was happening. As such, of course, it’s not that the rocket strike killed the individual, but he simply got a heart attack and passed away.
The attack was carried out via Arash-4 rockets. None of the air defense systems deployed at the base were able to repel the attack.
Reports claim that between 10 and 14 rockets struck the base, and there was a fire at the base and there were casualties. It is unknown if any US personnel was injured or died, or how many for that matter.
Today’s attack is a sort of ironic response to the recent US Air Force raid on an Iranian proxy weapons facility in Syria.
Colonel Wayne Marotto, spokesman for the international Operation Inherent Resolve coalition fighting ISIS, said that 10 rockets hit Al Asad base housing international forces around 7:20am local time on Wednesday morning.
“Iraqi [Special Forces] are leading the response & investigation,” he said.
The rockets were launched from a location about 8km from the base in western Anbar province, a Baghdad Operations Command official told Reuters.
Sabreen news website, thought to be linked to Iran-backed paramilitary group Asaib Ahl Al Haq, also claimed that injured US personnel had been evacuated, although there is no confirmation of any casualties.
On February 16, a rocket attack on US-led forces in northern Iraq killed a civilian contractor and injured a US service member.
The sprawling Al Asad facility, located in the remote western desert of Anbar, has been targeted by Iran-backed groups on a number of occasions.
Iran also hit the base with a massive attack last year in retaliation for the assassination of Quds force general Qassem Suleimani in a US air strike near Baghdad airport.
This week, CENTCOM released new footage of the attack that saw dozens of sophisticated missiles launched from Iran slam into the base back on January 8th, 2020.
It wanted to show that Iran’s attack was ineffective, and that the United States February 26th strike was actually quite impressive.
Dozens of soldiers suffered what the US military dubbed “traumatic brain injuries” that required treatment overseas. No US soldiers were killed in the attack that left heavy damage to the base.
A rocket salvo is a typical method of attack for various pro-Iranian groups in Iraq, many of which are part of the Popular Mobilization Units. They are a part of the Iraqi Armed Forces, and one of the major forces in the continuing fight against ISIS.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Military Situation In Iraq On March 2, 2021 (Map Update)
- Bombing Iraq And Syria: A True BFF Moment For U.S. And Israel