In a brazen act against American and Coalition interests, rockets and drones targeted the Ain al-Asad air base in western Iraq on Thursday evening, with the unmistakable sounds of multiple explosions echoing in the distance, as per reports from Iraqi security sources.
The extent of the damage or potential casualties remains unclear. Still, the Iraqi military, in a swift response, secured the surrounding area of the Ain al-Asad air base and launched search and rescue operations. This isn’t an isolated incident; another U.S. military facility near the Baghdad international airport also faced rocket fire on Thursday, just another tick on the list of ongoing assaults against American assets in the region.
Highlighting the escalating danger, four separate locations in Iraq and Syria, housing U.S. troops, have been attacked within a mere 24-hour window.
Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, asserted the U.S.’s unwavering commitment, stating, “We will take all necessary actions to staunchly defend U.S. and Coalition Forces against any looming threat. When and how we respond will be entirely at our discretion.”
It’s worth noting the rising tensions in the region: Iran-aligned Islamist factions in Iraq have openly threatened U.S. forces in the wake of American support to Israel in its defense against Hamas. Despite ramping up troop numbers and military hardware to support Israel and deter other rogue actors in the region, the U.S. has made it clear that no American boots on the ground have combat orders.
In a rather perplexing move, the Pentagon has refrained from directly accusing Iran of masterminding these attacks.
Currently, about 2,500 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq and Syria, playing a pivotal role in assisting partner forces to decimate the remnants of the Islamic State.
The Pentagon also addressed previous drone-related incidents targeting U.S. and coalition assets in the region. Notably, a drone assault on the al-Tanf garrison in Syria on Wednesday: while one drone was successfully intercepted by U.S. and Coalition troops, the other managed to crash into the base, injuring Coalition personnel.
In another concerning incident at al-Asad, a reported threat of an impending attack was fortunately a false alarm. However, the ensuing panic led to the tragic death of a U.S. civilian contractor who suffered a fatal heart attack during the imposed shelter-in-place order.
On Tuesday, U.S. defense forces valiantly thwarted a kamikaze drone assault on al-Asad, neutralizing one and damaging another. This attack, too, resulted in minor injuries to our coalition allies. Additionally, our vigilant forces neutralized yet another drone threat at the Bashur Air Base in Northern Iraq.
CENTCOM and the Pentagon, as of this report, haven’t issued an official response to inquiries from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The above content is based on information from The Daily Caller News Foundation.