BAGHDAD—At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. It was not immediately known if there were any casualties.
The rockets struck Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar province at 7:20 a.m., Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said, adding that the Iraqi security forces are leading an investigation into the attack.
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
Later, the Iraqi military released a statement saying the attack did not cause significant losses and that security forces had found the launch pad used for the missiles.
It was the first attack since the U.S. struck Iran-aligned militia targets along the Iraq-Syria border last week, stoking fears of a possible repeat of a series of tit-for-tat attacks that escalated last year, culminating in the U.S.-directed strike that killed Iranian Qassem Soleimani—the top commander of Iran’s foreign operations and the Quds Force—outside the Baghdad airport.
The U.S. strike along the Iraq-Syria border had been in response to a spate of rocket attacks that targeted the American presence, including one that killed a coalition contractor from the Philippines outside the Irbil airport.
After that attack, the Pentagon said the strike was a “proportionate military response” taken after consulting coalition partners.
Wednesday’s attack comes two days before Pope Francis’ is scheduled to visit Iraq in a much anticipated trip that will include Baghdad, southern Iraq and in the northern city of Irbil.