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11 Mar, 2020 20:43

2 US, 1 British soldier killed in rocket attack on Iraq's Taji base – reports

2 US, 1 British soldier killed in rocket attack on Iraq's Taji base – reports

Two Americans and one British service member are dead after 15 rockets hit a coalition base outside Baghdad, US officials said citing “preliminary information,” despite Iraqi claims there had been no casualties from the strike.

Wednesday's rocket attack on Camp Taji also left about a dozen people injured, Reuters reported citing the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. While there is still no official confirmation of the casualties, US coalition spokesman Colonel Myles Caggins verified in a tweet that more than 15 “small rockets” had hit the base. 

The Iraqi military initially reported that 10 rockets had hit the base 27km north of Baghdad, and did not mention any casualties.

The UK Ministry of Defense confirmed it was aware of “an incident involving UK service personnel at Camp Taji,” and that it was investigating.

Several sources reported that the US responded to the attack with airstrikes against Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units in Anbar province, near the border of Iraq and Syria. No group has stepped forward to take responsibility for the attack on Camp Taji and no evidence has been presented linking any Iraqi militia to the rockets.

The rocket attack was the latest of several to hit US and coalition sites in Iraq over the past few months and the second strike on Camp Taji since January, when several rockets landed in and around the base, injuring a member of the Iraqi security forces. No group claimed responsibility for these acts.

Also on rt.com US bringing missile defense systems to Iraq in bid to protect troops against 'potential Iranian attack' – CENTCOM

The last time an American was killed in a rocket attack against an Iraqi base – at K-1 outside Kirkuk in December 2019 – Washington also responded with airstrikes against the PMU. This was followed by a cycle of escalation that involved an attempted storming of the US Embassy in Baghdad, a US drone strike that killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps General Qassem Soleimani in January, and Iranian reprisal involving the targeting of two Iraqi bases that hosted US troops with ballistic missiles.

The Pentagon has insisted the threat of Iranian attack justifies beefing up its missile defense systems in Iraq, even though the Iraqi parliament has made clear following the Soleimani assassination that it wants all foreign troops out of the country.

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