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Rockets target Ain al-Assad base hosting US troops in Iraq's Anbar

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US soldiers walk past army trucks during a logistical operation to clear equipment and heavy machinery from the Balad military base, north of Baghdad, Iraq. (By AFP)

A number of rockets have targeted the Ain al-Assad air base, which hosts US forces, in Iraq’s western province of al-Anbar.

Shafaq News cited a security source as saying that five rockets targeted Ain al-Assad air base on Wednesday evening.

Later in the day, the news website said the rockets landed near the air base.

According to the report, the attack activated the C-RAM missile system of the base.

An official within the US-led coalition told Reuters that five rockets landed near Ain al-Asad base, adding that the attack caused no casualties.

Reuters also cited Iraqi military officials as saying that the rounds fired were Katyusha rockets.

Ain al-Assad air base was targeted by two explosive-laden drones on Tuesday, but they were reportedly shot down by Iraqi air defenses as they approached the base.

The attacks come amid growing anti-US sentiments over Washington’s military and political adventurism in the region, and also at a time that coincides with the second martyrdom anniversary of Iran’s top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and his comrades in a US drone strike in Iraq in 2020.

General Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and his Iraqi comrade Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), were martyred along with their companions in a US drone strike authorized by former president Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.

Both commanders were highly revered across the Middle East because of their key role in fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.

Five days after the assassination, in a military operation codenamed Operation Martyr Soleimani, the IRGC launched a volley of ballistic missiles at the Ain al-Asad air base.

Iran said the missile strike was only a “first slap” in its process of taking “hard revenge” and that it would not rest until the US military leaves the Middle East in disgrace.

Back in January 2020, two days after the assassination, the Iraqi parliament passed a law requiring the Iraqi government to end the presence of the US-led foreign forces in the Arab country.

Since the assassination, Iraqi resistance forces have ramped up pressure on the US military to leave their country, targeting American bases and forces on numerous occasions, at one point pushing the Americans to ask them to “just leave us alone.”

Last year, Baghdad and Washington reached an agreement on ending the presence of all US combat troops in Iraq by the end of the year.

The US military declared the end of its combat mission in Iraq in December 2021, but resistance forces remain bent on expelling all American forces, including those who have stayed in the country on the pretext of training Iraqi forces or playing an advisory role.

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