SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The U.S.-led Coalition forces on Monday confirmed a rocket attack on Iraq’s Ain al-Asad air base, one week after the United States struck positions belonging to militia groups it accused of attacks on bases housing American and Coalition troops.
The air base housing Coalition troops was attacked by three rockets, said Spokesman of Operation Inherent Resolve Col. Wayne Marotto.
“The rockets landed on the base perimeter,” Marotto added. “There are no injuries and damage is being assessed.”
Bases that host U.S. and Coalition troops in Iraq intermittently come under rocket and drone attacks, carried out by armed groups.
No groups have claimed responsibility for the attacks, but armed groups that some Iraqi officials say are backed by Iran have claimed similar incidents.
U.S. officials blame Iran-backed militias for regular rocket attacks on U.S. facilities in Iraq, including near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
In response to drone and rocket attacks, the U.S. military said it targeted operational and weapons storage facilities at two locations in Syria and one in Iraq.
Iraqi militia groups aligned with Iran in a statement named four members of the Kataib Sayyed al-Shuhada faction they said were killed in the attack on the Syria-Iraq border. They vowed to retaliate.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the strikes hit facilities used by militia blamed for an escalating series of drone and rocket attacks against American personnel and facilities in Iraq.
In apparent retaliation for the airstrikes, U.S. troops came under rocket fire in Syria on Monday. A U.S. military official said on Tuesday that nearly 34 rockets were fired in the attack, but caused no injuries.
U.S. officials believe Iran is behind a ramp-up in increasingly sophisticated drone attacks and periodic rocket fire against U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq, where the U.S. military has been helping Baghdad combat the remnants of Islamic State.
Iran denied on Saturday U.S. accusations that Tehran supported attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria.
Iran’s envoy to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi said: “Any claim to attribute to Iran… any attack carried out against American personnel or facilities in Iraq is factually wrong and void of the minimum requirements of authenticity and reliability.”
*This story was updated at 04:24 p.m. EBL time