Two U.S. troops were injured when rockets hit al-Asad Air Base, Iraq, on July 7, the latest in a series of rocket and small drone attacks on American positions inside the country.
Fourteen rockets impacted the base and its perimeter, and “force protection defensive measures were activated,” Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said in a statement. After a full accounting, two personnel sustained minor injuries. Overall damage is still being assessed, he said.
“Each attack against the [Government of Iraq], the [Kurdish Region of Iraq], and the Coalition undermines the authority of Iraqi institutions, the rule of law, and Iraqi national sovereignty,” Marotto said. “Coalition forces are co-located with our ISF and Peshmerga partners on ISF bases. Each attack against the Coalition endangers the lives of ISF and Peshmerga forces.”
On July 6, explosives from drones impacted the Erbil International Airport in Kurdistan, which houses U.S. troops, Marotto announced on Twitter. No casualties or damage was reported. The day before, an armed drone was shot down over the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
Al-Asad was targeted again on July 5, with three rockets impacting the base perimeter. However, no injuries or damage was reported in that attack.
The series of attacks represent an increase in hostilities likely from Iranian-backed militias following the June 27 U.S. airstrikes on three militia facilities on the Syria-Iraq border. USAF F-15E and F-16 aircraft hit buildings where militias were building and storing the small drone weapons used to attack U.S. and partner bases.
A militia leader vowed a response to the strikes, which killed four members of Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada, The Associated Press reported.
Al-Asad is the site of the January 2020 Iranian ballistic missile attack, in which more than 100 U.S. troops sustained brain injuries.