The Iraqi military on March 17 said that two rockets hit a base hosting US-led coalition forces in Baghdad. As per reports, the recent attack was third in a week on US installations in the war-torn country. A statement by the military said that the rockets hit Besmaya base south of Baghdad late Monday night, without reporting any casualties. According to reports, the base also houses Spanish troops who are fighting ISIS in Iraq as part of US-led NATO forces.
Last week, an airstrike reportedly carried out by the coalition forces killed 26 fighters in eastern Syria. Media reports suggest that the fighters belonged to the Iraqi paramilitary group Hashed al-Shaabi, a faction the United States says is backed by Iran. The airstrike was carried out near the border town of Albu Kamal, which was a stronghold for ISIS since 2014. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had earlier earned the Iraqi Prime Minister that attacks on American forces will not be tolerated. Pompeo reiterated that Iraq must defend coalition forces who are helping the country to defeat ISIS.
The deadly attack on US-led coalition forces in Iraq came two months after the tensions between Washington and Tehran escalated. Tensions between Tehran and Washington rose to an all-time high on January 8, when the Ain al-Asad airbase in Iraq that houses the US and NATO forces were hit by multiple rockets during the wee hours on Wednesday. This incident was first reported by Iranian state TV, who described it as Tehran’s revenge operation over the killing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
General Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was killed by US air raid at Baghdad's international airport on January 3, along with six others. The White House and the Pentagon confirmed the death of Iran's powerful military head by saying that the attack was directed by US President Donald Trump.