Rockets and drones hit Iraqi bases housing US forces

One of the projectiles hit an empty storage centre but no casualties were reported

Ain Al Asad air base in western Iraq hosts US and other international forces supporting the country in combating ISIS. AFP
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Drones and rockets struck two military bases housing US forces in western Iraq on Thursday, the latest in a series of attacks, after Iraqi militias warned Washington against intervening to support Israel against Palestinian militant group Hamas in Gaza.

Rockets and drones were fired at Ain Al Asad airbase, which also hosts other international forces, and a number of explosions were heard inside the base, two security sources said.

The Iraqi military said it closed the area around the base and started a search operation. It was not yet clear whether the attack caused casualties or damage, the sources said.

Rockets hit another military base hosting US forces near Baghdad's international airport, Iraqi police said on Thursday, without providing further details.

A US official said two rockets had been fired at US forces at the airport. One was intercepted and the other hit an empty storage centre and there were no casualties, the official said.

The attacks were the third and fourth to hit Iraqi military bases housing US forces in the space of 24 hours.

Last week, Iraqi armed groups aligned with Iran threatened to use missiles and drones to attack US interests if Washington intervened to support Israel against Hamas in Gaza.

The blockaded enclave has been under Israeli bombardment since an attack by Hamas militants on October 7 that killed 1,400 people.

US military forces in Iraq were the target of two separate drone attacks on Wednesday, with one leaving a small number of troops with minor wounds even though it was intercepted.

Washington has posted 2,500 troops in Iraq and 900 more in neighbouring Syria on a mission to advise and assist local forces in combating ISIS, which seized large areas of territory in both countries in 2014.

Ain Al Asad airbase is in the Iraqi province of Anbar, bordering Syria.

Updated: October 20, 2023, 8:23 AM