Several US personnel were injured in a rocket attack by Iranian-backed rebels on the Al-Asad air base in Iraq on Saturday evening, the Pentagon said.
Around 6:30 p.m. local time, several ballistic missiles and missiles were fired from western Iraq by Iranian-backed militants, US Central Command said said in a Statement released on social media.
The base's air defense systems intercepted “most of the missiles,” but “others hit the base,” CENTCOM reported.
According to CENTCOM, several U.S. personnel were evaluated for traumatic brain injuries and at least one Iraqi soldier was also injured. Further details were not initially disclosed.
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This is the 144th attack on US troops stationed in Iraq and Syria since Hamas launched its violent attack on Israel on October 7, sparking the Israel-Hamas war. It is also one of the largest attacks of its kind and the second in which militias have fired ballistic missiles.
On November 20, a ballistic missile attack on the Al-Asad air base injured eight people and slightly damaged the base itself. The US killed several Iranian-backed militiamen in a retaliatory strike.
Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have increased since the Gaza war, with the U.S. repeatedly accusing Iran of being behind dozens of attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea by Yemen-based Houthi rebels, allegations that Tehran has denied.
Iran's foreign minister confirmed on Tuesday that Iranian forces had fired ballistic missiles at targets in Iraq and Syria. The US and Iraq condemned the deadly attacks near the US consulate under construction in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil.
The Pentagon said Tuesday that it seized a shipload of “advanced conventional weapons” sent by Iran to the Houthis last weekend.
—David Martin, Omar Abdulkader, Tucker Reals and S. Dev contributed to this report.
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