More Rocket Attacks on Iraq Bases
Coalition Forces Under Fire as Iraq Situation Escalates
After a rocket attack on Camp Taji, Wednesday, that killed three coalition military personnel, including one British medic, the U.S. military carried out retaliatory airstrikes on Thursday that targeted weapons facilities belonging to an Iranian-backed Shi’ite militia group blamed for the attack.
Iraqi militants responded with a further rocket attack on Camp Taji that left another three American troops wounded, according to the Pentagon.
“Last night, there was a Katyusha rocket attack on U.S., coalition and Iraqi forces at Camp Taji,” Jonathan Hoffman, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman, said in a statement. “We had three U.S. service members who were injured. Two seriously who are being treated at the military hospital at the Baghdad Airport base.”
A spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq had earlier confirmed via Twitter that two Iraqi troops were also wounded in Saturday’s attack on the large training base known as Camp Taji, located north of Baghdad.
Lt. Colonel Myles Caggins, the spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, said that “At least  107mm rockets impacted Iraq’s Camp Taji base hosting Coalition troops, March 14 at 10:51 a.m. (Iraq Time),” adding “3-Coalition WIA (wounded in action) , 2-Iraqi WIA. Assessment and investigation ongoing”
Iraqi Security Forces confirmed that they had located the seven launch platforms used to launch the rockets at Camp Taji and found 24 unfired missiles.
Tuesday: Two Rockets Hit Bismayah Base
Iraq’s military said Tuesday, 17 March, that two rockets struck Bismayah base south of Baghdad hosting U.S.-led coalition troops and NATO trainers.
The statement did not include any mention of casualties.
The rockets hit the Bismayah base (also Basmaya, or Besmaya), where there are coalition troops from Spain as part of the mission to combat the Islamic State militant group, codenamed Operation Inherent Resolve.
A rocket attack last week at Camp Taji, north of the Iraqi capital, killed two U.S. service members and a British medic, while wounding 14 others.
The U.S. has blamed such attacks on Iranian proxies in Iraq.
U.S. forces carried out retaliatory strikes Thursday and Friday against weapons depots of the Iranian-backed group Kata’ib Hezbollah.
Increasing Number of Rocket Attacks Against US Targets
2020 has already seen an escalation in such attacks, with a rocket attack against the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, early Sunday, Feb. 16.
Col. Myles Caggins, a spokesman for the U.S. military operation in Iraq, told reporters that “The attack did not injure any personnel, and the coalition remains committed to supporting the government of Iraq to defeat ISIS remits.”
He added that they were not able to identify who was behind the attack, and the incident remains under investigation.
Three Iraqi security officials told the Associated Press that two of the rockets fell inside the U.S. Embassy compound, while another hit near the coalition base
Sources: NBC; VoA
Image: a photo released by the government-affiliated Media Security Cell on March 12, 2020, shows a rocket-rigged truck launcher after a rocket attack on Camp Taji, a few miles north of Baghdad, in Rashidiya, Iraq. Iraq’s military on Thursday said it opened an investigation into the rocket attack that hours earlier killed three servicemen, including two Americans, at an Iraqi base housing coalition forces that has been used as a training base for a number of years.