A hail of missiles has reportedly landed near an air force base in western Iraq’s Anbar province, where American forces are stationed.
Sabereen News, a Telegram news channel affiliated with Iraqi People’s Mobilization Units — better known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Sha’abi — reported that at least four BM-21 Grad rockets were fired at Ain al-Asad airbase, which is located about 160 kilometers (100 miles) west of the capital Baghdad on Saturday evening.
The Security Media Cell, which is part of the Iraqi prime minister’s office, said two projectiles fell outside the base without causing significant casualties.
It added that security forces have launched an investigation to find out the circumstances of the incident.
سقوط ص خخ ق ا الlines ا مح ا ا ا مس ا دس ا ا اليوم الس against ، ا ا ا ا خ خ خ خ خ خ خ خ خ خ
من جانبها فure القواbr الأمنية حقيقاً لمعرفة ملابäcken الحادث ، وسنوافيكم التفاصاصاصاصاصاصاصاحقاحقاحقeten.
— خلية الإعلام الأمني🇮🇶 (@SecMedCell) April 30, 2022
A group calling itself the “International Resistance” has claimed responsibility for the attack, which is the latest in a string of attacks targeting US occupying forces in recent months.
Already on April 8, two combat drones hit targets inside the same Iraqi air base.
Citing a security source who spoke on condition of anonymity, Arabic-language TV station al-Sumaria reported at the time that there were no casualties or damage.
The report added that counter-missile, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) systems managed to intercept the aircraft.
The attacks come amid growing anti-US sentiment, which has intensified since the assassination of Iran’s top counterterrorism commander, Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, in Baghdad last year.
General Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, and his Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the People’s Mobilization Units, along with their companions, were targeted on January 3, 2020 Drone attack authorized by former US President Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport.
Two days after the attack, Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill that would require the government to end the presence of all US-led foreign forces in the country.
On January 8, 2020, the IRGC attacked the US-run Ain al-Asad airbase in western Iraq’s Anbar province after launching a wave of attacks to avenge the assassination of Lt. Gen. Soleimani.
According to the Pentagon, more than 100 American forces suffered “traumatic brain injuries” during the counterstrike on the base. However, the IRGC says Washington is using the term to obscure the number of Americans who died during the retaliation.
Turkish warplanes launch new air strikes on Iraqi Kurdistan
Meanwhile, Turkish military planes have launched air strikes on alleged militant positions in Iraq’s northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
Sabereen News reported that Turkish warplanes and attack helicopters had heavily bombed the Amadiya area in the region’s Duhok district early Sunday.
Iraq has called Turkish military operations on its soil unlawful.
Last week, Sahaf told the Iraqi news agency that prior to 2003, there was an agreement between Ankara and Baghdad that temporarily allowed Turkish forces to cross five kilometers across the border under certain circumstances, to target PKK fighters for a limited number of days pursue in coordination with the Iraqi government.
In 2009, however, the Iraqi parliament canceled all agreements that allowed Turkish troops to enter the country, Sahaf noted.
Last month, Turkey announced its latest cross-border invasion of Iraq, codenamed Operation Claw-Lock. The military air and ground strikes are targeting suspected PKK positions in the Zab, Basiyan, Avasheen and Korajiwar districts of the Kurdistan Region.
The Iraqi government summoned Turkish Ambassador Ali Riza Guney and handed him a “strongly worded” note of protest over the offensive, calling the operation a blatant violation of its sovereignty.
On the other hand, Ankara called out the Iraqi chargé d’affaires and informed him that these military operations will continue unless Baghdad takes action against PKK members.
Calls grew for Baghdad to bring the issue of Turkey’s repeated attacks to the United Nations Security Council and the Arab League.
PKK militants – classified as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union – regularly clash with Turkish forces in Kurdish-dominated southeastern Turkey, which borders northern Iraq.
A shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July 2015. Since then, attacks on Turkish security forces have increased.