Updated November 27th, 2023 at 23:57 IST
Iraq Army warns that it will 'pursue' factions who attacked US Ain Al-Assad base
Iraqi Army Maj. Rasoul warned against acts of belligerence and assaults on American bases that are housing coalition troops within Iraq amid Israel-Hamas war.
Iraq’s Army spokesperson, Maj. Gen. Yahya Rasoul, on Monday said that the Iraqi state will “pursue” the factions who carried out attacks on the Army bases housing US troops within the country. In a statement published on October 23, Rasoul warned against any acts of belligerence and assaults on the American bases that are housing coalition troops.
Maj. Rasoul’s remarks came in response to ‘Katyusha’ rockets launched on the US military’s ‘Ain Al-Assad’ base in the west of Iraq's Anbar province on Saturday. The American military in Iraq said that they intercepted and shot down two drones directed towards Ain al-Asad, as one explosion was heard inside the base premises.
Iraqi Army’s spokesperson said that the military advisers from the US-led coalition were in Baghdad “at the invitation of the government,” and their mission is to train Iraqi forces. Prime Minister, Mohammed Shia' Al Sudani, has ordered the Iraqi security agencies to go after those who carry out attacks on US military bases in view of the escalating tensions due to the Israel-Palestine war in the Middle East.
A US soldier guards a position at Camp Swift, northern Iraq. Credit: AP
Maj. Rasoul warns against harm to Iraq’s national security
Maj. Rasoul cautioned the Iran-backed militia against making any attempts to harm Iraq’s national security. Over the past week, defence bases housing US troops in Iraq came under rocket and UAV attacks by the Iranian-backed groups. About 2,500 US troops have been stationed in Iraq to train the Iraqi forces and prevent a resurgence of the Islamic State (IS) terrorists.
Tehran-based agency IRNA said that that the Iraqi Islamic Resistance targeted the US Ain al-Assad air base in the western province of Anbar. In the visuals released online, they vowed to strike the US military bases on Iraqi soil in retaliation for what they described as the “Zionist regime” Israel’s ongoing hostilities against the Hamas and the civilians in the besieged Gaza Strip.
Satellite imagery shows Ain al-Asad base in Iraq’s western Anbar province. Credit: AP/Planet Labs
Iraq-based Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, the 12th Brigade of the radical Iraqi Shi'ite paramilitary group active in Syria and Iraq (HaN) published footage warning of more UAV strikes on American bases in Iraq in a retaliatory move to Israeli bombing of al-Maamadani hospital in Gaza. Backed by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), the faction that is listed by Washington as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) said that it will launch a barrage of drones and missiles that would fly over “the enemy’s settlements and bases” if the Israeli regime launches a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip.
An Iranian attack on the US Ain al-Asad air base in western Iraq. Credit: AP
The Iraqi military and the US-led military coalition have fought one of the deadliest battle with the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria in the city of Mosul, Iraq since 2014. The bloodiest battles have been fought for control of Fallujah, another key ISIS-held city that lies close to the border of Baghdad. The Iraqi military has relied on the Shi’ite-majority militias of “hashd al-shabi” in its war against the ISIS.
Published November 27th, 2023 at 23:57 IST