US forces in Iraq, Syria targeted in rocket, drone attacks

Military vehicles of U.S. soldiers are seen at the Ain al-Asad air base in Anbar province, Iraq, Jan. 13, 2020. (Reuters File Photo)

Drones and rockets targeted a military base hosting U.S. and other international forces in western Iraq and southern Syria late Thursday, security sources said.

Multiple blasts were heard inside the Ain al-Asad air base, located in Iraq’s western Anbar province, two sources told Reuters.

The attacks follow similar strikes over the past few days against U.S. and coalition bases in Iraq amid simmering anger in the region after an Israeli airstrike on the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in the Gaza Strip that killed hundreds of people.

U.S. military forces in Iraq were targeted on Wednesday in two separate drone attacks, with one causing minor injuries to a small number of troops even though the U.S. military managed to intercept the armed drone.The United States has 2,500 troops in Iraq, and 900 more in neighboring Syria.

A separate drone attack on Wednesday targeted the al-Tanf garrison, a military base in southern Syria, where U.S. troops have maintained a presence to train forces as part of a campaign against Daesh, two U.S. officials told The Associated Press (AP) on Thursday.

One drone was shot down, but another caused minor injuries, said one of the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter before an official announcement about the incident.

The officials did not say who was responsible for the attack.

Syrian opposition activists also said Thursday a drone attack was conducted on an oil facility in eastern Syria that houses American troops.

Omar Abu Layla, a Europe-based activist who heads the Deir Ezzor 24 media outlet, said three drones with explosives struck the Conoco gas field in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour that borders Iraq.

The province has recently witnessed clashes between the terrorist group PKK’s Syrian wing, the YPG, and Arab tribes.

Under the pretext of fighting Daesh, the U.S. has provided military training and given truckloads of military support to the PKK/YPG despite its NATO ally Türkiye’s security concerns.

Rami Abdurrahman of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, confirmed that five explosions were heard at the Conoco gas field.

By Agencies

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