Air attacks on US targets ramped up in Iraq, Syria
BAGHDAD/AMMAN－US diplomats and troops in Iraq and Syria have been targeted in rocket and drone attacks, US and Iraq officials said on Wednesday. These include at least 14 rockets fired over a 24-hour period that hit an Iraqi air base hosting US forces. Two US service personnel at the base were wounded.
The injuries of the two people at the Ayn al-Asad Air Base in western Iraq were minor, said coalition spokesman US Army Colonel Wayne Marotto. The rockets landed on the base and its perimeter. Earlier, he said that three people had been wounded.
US officials, speaking anonymously, said that of the two personnel, one suffered a concussion and the other had minor cuts.
Earlier, a provincial security source anonymously told Xinhua News Agency that at least four Katyusha rockets hit the air base. The source had no information on the casualties.
US forces at the air base fired back against the rocket launch site near the town of al-Baghdadi, 190 kilometers northwest of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, and destroyed a vehicle that was carrying the rockets, the source said.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. The Iraqi military bases housing US troops across Iraq and the US embassy in Baghdad have been frequently targeted in mortar and rocket attacks.
Shortly after the attacks at the base, two rockets were fired at the US embassy inside Baghdad's Green Zone early on Thursday, Iraqi security sources told Reuters.
The embassy's anti-rocket system diverted one of the rockets, said one of the sources－a security official whose office is inside the Green Zone. The second rocket fell near the zone's perimeter, security officials said.
Sirens blared from the embassy compound inside the zone, which houses government buildings and foreign missions, the sources said.
No damage done
In Syria, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces said no damage was done by a drone attack on the Al Omar oilfield in an eastern area bordering Iraq where US forces came under rocket fire but escaped injury on June 28.
The Pentagon said a drone had been brought down in eastern Syria and that no US service members had been injured and there had not been any damage.
Iraqi army officials said the pace of recent attacks against bases hosting US forces with rockets and explosive-laden drones was unprecedented.
Iraqi military sources said a rocket launcher fixed on the back of a truck was used in Wednesday's attack and was found on nearby farmland set on fire.
Agencies - Xinhua