Rockets target Al-Asad base housing coalition personal in western Iraq
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Rockets targeted western Iraq’s Al-Asad base, which houses personnel from the coalition against Islamic State, on Wednesday morning, according to the US-led coalition.
Ten rockets were fired at the military base in Anbar province at 7:20 a.m. local time, coalition spokesperson Colonel Wayne Marotto tweeted on Wednesday.
The Iraqi security forces are leading the investigation, according to Marotto.
Initial report: 10 IDF rockets targeted an Iraqi military base, Al Asad Airbase, hosting Coalition troops, on March 03, 2021 at approx 7:20 a.m. (Iraqi time). Iraqi SF are leading the response & investigation. Further information will be released as it becomes available.— OIR Spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto (@OIRSpox) March 3, 2021
The rockets were launched from a distance of about 8 km from where the international forces are based, Reuters reported a Baghdad Operations Command official as saying.
Iraqi security sources said the attack left one civilian contractor dead, according to AFP.
The UK envoy to Iraq, Stephen Hickey, condemned the incident, calling it a “terrorist attack” that undermines the fight against ISIS.
Wednesday’s attack follows a number of similar rocket attacks recently in the country that targeted installations hosting Western military personnel and the US embassy in Baghdad.
On Feb. 15, a salvo of rockets targeted the Erbil international airport in the Kurdistan Region’s capital, which hosts international forces. The attack left two people dead, including a civilian contractor, and injured one US service member.
Such attacks are believed to have been carried out by groups linked to Iranian-backed militias in Iraq, coalition and security experts say.
The US conducted an airstrike against one group, Kataib Hezbollah, in Syria last week in response to the attacks.
Two civilians were killed last month by rocket fire targeting Coalition personnel at the base at Erbil international airport. Al-Asad base in the western Iraqi desert was targeted by Iran in January 2020 in retaliation for a US airstrike that killed Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, leader of the Quds force.
Editing by Joanne Stocker-Kelly