Rockets, drones hit Iraqi bases housing US forces – security sources

Military vehicles of US soldiers are seen at Al-Assad Air Base in Anbar province, Iraq on January 13, 2020. REUTERS/John Davison/File photo Get license rights

ANBAR, Iraq, Oct 19 (Reuters) – Drones and rockets hit the Ain al-Assad air base in western Iraq, which hosts U.S. and other international forces, on Thursday evening, and several explosions were heard inside the base, two security sources said.

The Iraqi military said it had sealed off the area around the base and launched a search operation. The sources said it was not yet clear whether the attacks resulted in casualties or damage.

Rockets hit another military base near Baghdad’s international airport where US troops are based, Iraqi police said on Thursday, without providing further details.

The latest attacks targeting Iraqi military bases hosting US forces in Iraq have risen to 4 in the past 24 hours.

US military forces in Iraq were targeted in two separate drone attacks on Wednesday, causing minor injuries to a small number of troops, after the US military was able to intercept the armed drone.

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

The United States has 2,500 troops in Iraq and another 900 in neighboring Syria to advise and assist local forces in the fight against Islamic State, which seized territory in both countries in 2014.

Ain al-Assad Air Base is located in western Anbar province.

Report by Kamal Ayash; Written by Ahmad Rasheed; Editing by Chisu Nomiyama, Daniel Wallis and Lincoln Feist.

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