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Rocket attack from Iraq targets US base in Syria

Several rockets were launched from Iraq towards a US military base in northeastern Syria late on Sunday, marking the first attack on US troops since early February. The rockets were fired from the town of Zummar, resuming hostilities after a near-three month pause following talks to end the US-led military coalition in Iraq. Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani’s recent visit to the United States, where he met with President Joe Biden, preceded the attack.

While a Telegram group affiliated with Kataib Hezbollah initially claimed responsibility for the attack, Kataib Hezbollah later refuted this claim, calling it “fabricated news.” The Iraqi security forces condemned the attack, attributing it to “outlaw elements” targeting a coalition base in Syrian territory.

According to a US official speaking anonymously, more than five rockets were fired from Iraq towards the coalition base in Rmeilan, Syria. Fortunately, no US personnel were injured, and the attack was labeled a “failed rocket attack.” It remains unclear whether the rockets failed to hit the base or were intercepted before reaching their target. Subsequently, a US-led coalition aircraft conducted a strike against the launch site.

In response to the attack, Iraqi forces launched a search operation in northern Nineveh province and discovered a small truck with a rocket launcher fixed on the back in Zummar. The truck was destroyed and seized for further investigation. Iraqi authorities are collaborating with coalition forces to share information about the incident.

The targeting of US forces in the region has escalated since the conflict in Gaza began on October 7. In a separate incident in January, three US service members were killed, and at least 34 others were wounded in a drone attack near the Syrian border in northeast Jordan.

The recent rocket attack underscores the ongoing tensions in the region and the challenges facing efforts to stabilize Iraq and Syria. Despite diplomatic efforts, sporadic violence and attacks on coalition forces persist, highlighting the complex security landscape in the region.

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