Rockets Hit Iraqi Base Housing U.S. Forces, Two Americans Wounded

At least 14 rockets hit an Iraqi air base hosting U.S. and other international forces on Wednesday, wounding two American service members, U.S. officials said, while Kurdish-led forces in Syria said they thwarted a drone attack in an area where U.S. forces also operate.

While there were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attacks – part of a wave targeting U.S. troops or areas where they are based in Iraq and Syria – analysts believed they were part of a campaign by Iranian-backed militias.

Iraqi militia groups aligned with Iran vowed to retaliate after U.S. strikes on the Iraqi-Syrian border killed four of their members last month.

Two people were slightly wounded in the rocket attack on the Ain al-Asad air base in western Iraq, said coalition spokesman U.S. Army Colonel Wayne Marotto. The rockets landed on the base and its perimeter. He earlier said three people were wounded.

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the two personnel injured were U.S. service members. One suffered a concussion and the other had minor cuts, one of the officials added.

In Syria, the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces said no damage was done by the drone attack on the Al Omar oil field in an eastern area bordering Iraq where U.S. forces came under rocket fire but escaped injury on June 28.

The Pentagon said a drone had been brought down in eastern Syria and that no U.S. service members had been injured and there had not been any damage.

Iraqi army officials said the pace of recent attacks against bases hosting U.S. forces with rockets and explosive-laden drones was unprecedented.

Iraqi military sources said a rocket launcher fixed on the back of a truck was used in Wednesday’s attack and was found on nearby farmland set on fire.

On Tuesday, a drone attacked Erbil airport in northern Iraq, targeting a U.S. base on the airport grounds, Kurdish security sources said. read more

Three rockets also landed on Ain al-Asad on Monday without causing casualties.