Several rockets were reported to have hit the Ain al-Asad air base in the western Anbar province of Iraqon Wednesday March 3, with no casualties reported initially.
The Ain al-Asad base host U.S. and Iraqi soldiers as well aw other members of the Operation Inherent Resolve coalition against the “Islamic State” (IS) group.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) said that Al Asad’s Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (C-RAM) missile defensive systems engaged in defense of our forces.
“There are no current reports of U.S. servicemember injuries and all are accounted for. A U.S. civilian contractor suffered a cardiac episode while sheltering and sadly passed away shortly after,” DOD said in a note.
“We cannot attribute responsibility at this time, and we do not have a complete picture of the extent of the damage. We stand by as needed to assist our Iraqi partners as they investigate,” DOD added.
About 13 rockets were launched from a location some 8 km from the Ain al-Asad base, a Baghdad Operations Command official told the Reuters.
This is the second rocket attack in Iraq in a month, coming two days before Pope Francis is due to visit the country.
Washington last week launched an airstrike in eastern Syria on facilities allegedly used by Iran-backed militia. According to the press secretary, the strikes destroyed multiple facilities located at a border control point used by a number of Iranian-backed militant groups including Kait’ib Hezbollah and Kait’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada.
Iraqi security forces are on scene and investigating.