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17 rockets strike Iraqi base with US troops

Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division conduct air assault training with their Iraqi partners in Mosul, Iraq. (Maj. Vonnie Wright/U.S. Army)
November 08, 2019

Rocket fire struck an air base south of Mosul, Iraq where U.S. troops are housed, but none were injured in the attack.

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Iraqi officials spoke anonymously to the Associated Press and said it was not initially clear if there were casualties from the rockets, which originated from Mosul and appeared to target the base 38 miles south in Qayyara.

However, later reports indicated no U.S. troops were injured in the attack.

“Coalition forces are in Iraq at the invitation of the Government of Iraq to defeat ISIS remnants,” U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Marisa Roberts told the AP. “We will not be deterred by these attacks and maintain the right to defend ourselves.”

An Iraqi military statement said a total of 17 Katyusha rockets had struck the base, according to Reuters.

U.S. troops hosted at the base are leading an anti-terrorism coalition with Iraqi forces to counter ISIS, which still remains active in the country, primarily in sleeper cells that launch attacks on Iraqi forces.

ISIS is suspected to be behind the attack, but official confirmation has not been released, nor have any militant groups claimed responsibility.

Some Iran-backed Iraqi militant groups have recently threatened to attack U.S. forces in Iraq as tensions rise with Iran, who is defying its 2015 nuclear accord commitments and threatening free passage of oil shipping in the Strait of Hormuz due to crippling sanctions.

Rockets have repeatedly struck nearby the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad recently, despite the heavy fortifications in the Green Zone.