The US led-coalition against ISIS reports that two Coalition personnel were injured in a rocket attack on Ain Al-Asad Air Base in Iraq today.
According to Colonel Wayne Marotto, the spokesperson for Operation Inherent Resolve, the air base was attacked by 14 rockets at around 12:30PM local time. The rockets landed on the base and its perimeter, and damage to the base is still being assessed following “100% accountability” for the personnel at the base at the time. The nationalities of the injured have yet to be disclosed.
Iraqi security forces have since found the truck used to conceal the multiple rocket launch system used in the attack. According to the Security Media Cell of the Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office, the remaining unlaunched rockets exploded in the launcher, damaging homes and a mosque around the truck.
The attack follows a report earlier today by the Syrian Democratic Forces that it and coalition forces had foiled drone attacks at the al-Omar oil field in Syria’s eastern Deir-ez-zor governorate. SDF spokesperson Farhad Shami said that the drones did not manage to cause any damage in the 10:15AM attack.
Today’s attacks follow an attack on Erbil International Airport last night by an explosive-laden drone. The Kurdistan Region’s Counterterrorism Directorate and the Coalition report that the 11:15PM attack did not result in any injuries to personnel or damage, although the crash of the drone started a fire at the impact site that has since been extinguished.
Iraqi military officials that spoke with Reuters say that the pace of recent drone and rocket attacks on Coalition forces is unprecedented, noting a three-rocket barrage at Ain Al-Asad on Monday that did not injure any personnel. It appears that the “self-defense” air strikes on logistical sites for drone deployment by Iranian-backed militias have yet to provide the deterrent effect they were said to generate.
Iraqi Ministry of Defense spokesperson Major General Yehia Rasool condemned the attacks in Iraq on Twitter, saying that the “enemies of Iraq” were targeting the security and sovereignty of the country as well as the safety of citizens, with the “terrorist” attacks on Erbil International Airport, Ein Al-Asad and diplomatic headquarters in Baghdad. He added that the Iraqi government would seek to prosecute those responsible, in addition to ensuring the security of upcoming elections. Stating that “the choices of peace and war are the exclusive right of the state”, Yehia said that the Iraqi government refused to allow Iraqi territory and the security of Iraqis to be used as an arena for proxy actions, calling for restraint and respect for strategic dialogue.
The United Nations’s special envoy to Iraq, Jeanine Hennis, said yesterday that the “constant” attacks were an “affront” to the rule of law in Iraq. She warned that the attacks risked pushing Iraq “towards the unknown, with the Iraqi people potentially paying a high price”.