Foreign Soldiers in Iraq Targeted for Third Time in Week
Iraqi officials have confirmed that two rockets struck a training base south of Baghdad housing foreign troops partaking in the US-led fight against Islamic State. There were no immediate reports of casualties after the projectiles hit the Basmaya base on Monday night. The latest attack follows two others in the past week on Camp Taji, located just north of the Iraqi capital. On Saturday, three American soldiers were wounded, two of them seriously, when more than 30 projectiles were fired at the military installation. An attack last Wednesday killed two soldiers, one American and the other British, as well as an American contractor. In response, the White House green-lighted air strikes on assets belonging to Kataib Hizbullah, an Iranian-backed armed group the US blamed for the latter assault. Fighters allied with Iran have over the past six months targeted at least 20 US installations in Iraq, as the country has become a primary battleground for tit-for-tat military exchanges between Washington and Tehran. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this week warned that the Pentagon had been instructed to respond if American troops were targeted in Iraq. “Secretary Pompeo underscored [in a call with the Iraqi prime minister] that the groups responsible for these attacks must be held accountable. [He] noted that America will not tolerate… threats to American lives and will take additional action as necessary in self-defense,” said a statement released on behalf of the top US diplomat.