- Ten rockets struck a base hosting US forces in Iraq early Wednesday.
- There are no reports of any injuries.
- Tensions are increasing in the region days before the pope is scheduled to visit.
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Ten rockets hit an air base in Iraq hosting US-led coalition and Iraqi troops, officials in the country said.
Col. Wayne Marotto, a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, the coalition fighting the Islamic State terrorist group in the country, said the rockets targeted the Al Asad Air Base in western Iraq at about 7 a.m local time.
—OIR Spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto (@OIRSpox) March 3, 2021
There were no immediate reports of any injuries, Iraq’s military told Reuters. An Iraqi military source said the attack was launched from just west of the city Baghdadi, near the base.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to reports.
The attack is the second on international forces in the country within a month.
A February 16 rocket attack on a northern Iraqi air base, used by the US military, killed a civilian contractor and injured a US soldier. The attack was claimed by a Shia militant group believed to be backed by militias funded by Iran, The Guardian reported.
Last week, the Biden administration launched airstrikes in Syria targeting Iran-backed militias whom it accused of supporting attacks on US forces in Iraq.
US forces have been targeted in recent months by Iran-backed militias in Iraq, with tensions ratcheting up after the Trump administration assassinated the top Iranian military commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in January 2020.
Tensions have heightened more broadly in Iraq, with a suicide bombing killing 30 people at a Baghdad market in January amid deteriorating security.
Pope Francis is scheduled to make the first papal visit to the country on Friday under tight security.
US forces are stationed in the country to fight the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, which is seeking to regroup after being ousted from its power bases in the country by Iraqi forces fighting alongside coalition forces and Iran-based militias.