ISIS fighters infiltrated a key Iraqi airbase which currently houses US Marine trainers, a statement from Combined Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve announced.
“About 7:20 a.m. (Iraqi time, Friday Feb. 13) a small Daesh element attacked an Iraqi Army facility on the Al Asad Air Base in Anbar province,” the statement notes. Daesh is an alternative name for ISIS that the group finds derogatory.
According to ABC News, the eight ISIS fighters disguised themselves as members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in order to gain access to the compound. After staging an attack, all eight of the militants were killed by the ISF.
At the time of the attack, US personnel were several miles away from the attack and did not engage the militants.
“Coalition forces were several kilometers from the attack and at no stage were they under direct threat from this action,” the Combined Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve statement noted.
Although coalition forces were not under threat from the attack, coalition surveillance assets worked alongside the ISF to provide actionable intelligence. ABC reports that two Iraqi soldiers were killed during the incursion.
According to Stars and Stripes, there are around 400 US trainers operating within Al Asad Airbase. The trainers are part of the approximately 2,600 US troops in Iraq who are conducting training and advising missions alongside the ISF and Kurdish Peshmerga forces.
The attack on Al Asad follows after the nearby town of al-Baghdadi was taken by ISIS on February 12. Militants had previously launched mortars at the airbase once since December 2014.
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