US forces: Rockets hit airbase in Iraq internet hosting US troops

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

Nasser Nasser | AP

At the very least 10 rockets focused a army base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, the coalition and the Iraqi army stated. 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 stated.

Later, the Iraqi army launched a press release 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 because the U.S. struck Iran-aligned militia targets alongside the Iraq-Syria border final week, stoking fears of a potential repeat of a sequence of tit-for-tat assaults that escalated final yr, culminating within the U.S.-directed strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani exterior 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 can embrace 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 exterior the Irbil airport.

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

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