Two U.S. troops and one coalition service member were killed Wednesday in a rocket attack on a military base in Iraq, U.S. officials said.
At least a dozen more people were injured at Camp Taji, about 17 miles north of Baghdad, after about 18 of up to 30 Russian Katyusha rockets were launched from northeast Baghdad and hit the base, according to officials. Iraqi Security Forces found a truck rigged with rockets several miles away from the base.
Iranian-backed forces in Iraq are known to employ such rockets, which also caused buildings on the base to erupt in flames. Over the past year, the U.S. has accused Iran-backed forces such as Kataib Hezbollah of 13 similar attacks on military bases in Iraq that house U.S. and coalition troops.
Later Wednesday evening, Syrian opposition activists and an Iraqi militia official said 10 airstrikes had been launched after the attack on the Iraq-Syria border near the Syrian city of Abu Kamal, where Iranian-backed forces are. The U.S. has not confirmed the airstrikes.
In January, the U.S. assassinated top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, founder of the Kata’ib Hezbollah militia, which the administration blamed for a rocket attack that killed a U.S. defense contractor at a military compound in northern Iraq. Soleimani also signed off on attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that trapped American diplomats inside the embassy overnight.
Iran afterwards vowed “harsh revenge” following the death of the top military general. Later in January, more than 100 American troops suffered traumatic brain injuries when Iran launched a ballistic missile strike on an Iraqi air base.
The U.S. currently has about 6,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.