Rocket lands near Iraqi base housing US troops

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A single rocket struck near a military base housing US troops in western Iraq on Monday without injuring anyone, a spokesperson for the US-led coalition said.

The rocket struck near Ain al-Asad Air Base, a large compound in Anbar province, at 1:35 p.m., Colonel Wayne Marotto said on Twitter. He said the damage was being assessed and an investigation had been opened.

An Iraqi security official said the rocket struck near a village outside the base. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in accordance with regulations.

In December 2019, an aerial photo taken from a helicopter shows the Ain al-Asad air base in the western Anbar Desert, Iraq.  (AP)
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In December 2019, an aerial photo taken from a helicopter shows the Ain al-Asad air base in the western Anbar Desert, Iraq. (AP)

MARINE BUCKETS BECOME FROM COUNTER-TERRORISM TO GLOBAL THREATS

Rocket and missile attacks against U.S. facilities have been common since a Washington-led strike against Iranian General Qassim Soleimani outside Baghdad airport last year. This operation also killed the powerful Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. The attacks have continued since US President Joe Biden took office this year.

No one claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack, but US officials have previously blamed Iranian-backed Iraqi militias for attacks on the US embassy in Baghdad and other military bases hosting US forces.

Recent attacks have been more sophisticated with the use of drones. Earlier this month, a drone targeted the Ain al-Assad base, causing minor damage.

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Soleimani’s assassination on Iraqi soil sparked the ire of predominantly Shiite lawmakers, who passed a non-binding resolution calling for the ouster of US forces from the country.

The future of the US military presence in Iraq has been the subject of strategic discussions between Baghdad and Washington, with Shiite militias insisting on a withdrawal schedule.

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