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2 Americans injured in Iraq rocket attack

U.S. Marine at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, in support of an Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by 1st Lt. Matthew W. Finnerty/Released)
July 07, 2021

Two U.S. personnel were injured after a still-unidentified group fired at least 14 rockets at Ain al-Asad airbase in western on Iraq Wednesday afternoon, military officials confirmed Wednesday evening.

In an emailed statement provided to American Military News, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said, “At approx. 12:30 PM local time, Ain Al-Assad Air Base was attacked by 14 rockets. The rockets landed on the base & perimeter. Force protection defensive measures were activated. At this time initial reports indicate 3 minor injuries. Damage is being assessed. After conducting accountability, it was determined that two U.S. personnel sustained minor injuries.”

Both Fox News and Reuters have also reported anonymous U.S. officials, identified the injured U.S. personnel as military service members, and said one suffered a concussion while the other had only minor scrapes following the Wednesday rocket attack.

The CENTCOM statement added, “Damages are still being assessed, and more details will be provided as they become available.”

The Wednesday rocket attack is the fourth attack targeting U.S. personnel in Iraq this week, according to Fox News. One Tuesday drone attack landed near a U.S. base in Iraq’s northern Erbil region while another attack targeted the Ain al-Asad airbase. Another attempted drone strike landed near the U.S. embassy in Baghdad on Monday. 

Earlier on Wednesday, Iraqi military official Yehia Rasool called the rocket attack a “terrorist attack,” tweeting, “Once again, the enemies of Iraq are intrusive and targeting the country’s security and sovereignty, and the safety of citizens through a new terrorist attack on Erbil Airport and the Ain al-Assad camp of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, and before that a return to targeting the headquarters of diplomatic missions that fall under the protection of the state.”

CENTCOM also said, “Each attack against the Government of Iraq, the Kurdistan Region, and the Coalition undermines the authority of Iraqi institutions, the rule of law, and Iraqi national sovereignty. Each attack against the Coalition endangers the lives of ISF and Peshmerga forces.”

The string of attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq comes after U.S. forces carried out airstrikes against Iran-backed militia groups operating along the Syria-Iraq border on June 28. Those airstrikes were launched after U.S. forces assessed those Iran-backed militias were responsible for three different rocket attacks against U.S. and Coalition forces in Iraq the week prior.

In response to the U.S. airstrikes, one of the Iran-backed militias vowed, “From now on, we will go to open war with the American occupation, the first action of which is targeting the enemy planes in beloved Iraq’s sky.”