At least two soldiers out US At the Iraq 20 were injured this Saturday when their air base in the west of the country was hit by rockets or missiles that, according to American authorities, were fired by Iranianbacked militias.
The attacks on the AlAsad air base are among the most serious of the approximately 140 rocket and missile attacks on American troops in Iraq and Syria since the terrorist attacks in Iraq. Hamas on October 7th, which started the war Israel In Gaza.
A U.S. official said initial reports were vague and that the number of injured could rise as reports of damage reached higher headquarters from military commanders. According to Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, military spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia alSudani, an Iraqi soldier was also injured.
The American army is supporting Iraqi and Kurdish forces in the fight against the Islamic State. Photo: Hadi Mizban/AP
AlAsad Air Base in Iraq's western desert is now used primarily by Iraqi forces but still has a U.S. contingent. A total of 2,500 American troops are stationed in Iraq and 900 in Syria, supporting Iraqi and Kurdish forces in Syria fighting the remnants of the Islamic State.
There have been 140 militia attacks on US troops in Iraq and Syria in the past three months, including 57 in Iraq and 83 in Syria, Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said on Thursday.
About 70 U.S. soldiers suffered injuries in the attacks, including traumatic brain injuries, but all but a few soldiers were able to return to work relatively quickly, Pentagon officials said.
The attack on AlAsad came just hours after Iran accused Israel of launching an airstrike against the Syrian capital Damascus that killed five Iranian soldiers. This is the latest sign of the growing regional unrest arising from the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
American officials in Washington said Saturday it was unclear whether the militia attacks in Iraq were related to earlier attacks in Syria.
Iranlinked militias in Iraq, known collectively as the “Axis of Resistance” and considering themselves part of Tehran's network of allies in the Middle East, said in a statement that this latest attack was a response to Israel's war in Gaza. There was no mention of the attack in Syria./NYT