US troops walk as a US Army C-47 Chinook helicopter flies over a village near MosulPicture copyright
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Two Individuals have been killed in a rocket assault on a army base in Iraq on Wednesday (file picture)

The US has launched retaliatory air strikes towards a pro-Iranian militia group in Iraq, after a rocket assault killed two of its troopers.

The strikes focused 5 weapons storage amenities throughout the nation, the US defence division mentioned.

Two Individuals and a British soldier have been killed in Wednesday’s rocket assault on the Camp Taji army base.

Earlier, a US commander mentioned an Iranian-backed militia group was prone to have fired the rockets.

“The Iranian proxy group Kataib Hezbollah is the one group recognized to have beforehand performed an oblique hearth assault of this scale towards US and coalition forces in Iraq,” Central Command chief Gen Kenneth McKenzie informed a Senate committee.

US and UK troopers killed in rocket assault in Iraq
What’s the future for US troops in Iraq?

In an announcement on Thursday night, the defence division confirmed that a sequence of “defensive precision strikes” have been carried out by manned plane towards Kataib Hezbollah amenities.

“These embrace amenities that housed weapons used to focus on US and coalition troops,” it mentioned. “[The strikes] have been defensive, proportional, and in direct response to the menace posed by Iranian-backed Shia militia teams.”

“The US won’t tolerate assaults towards our folks, our pursuits, or our allies,” Defence Secretary Mark Esper added. “We are going to take any motion essential to guard our forces.”

The US has accused Iran-backed militias of 13 comparable assaults on Iraqi bases internet hosting coalition forces up to now yr.

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The killing of an American civilian in a single such incident in December triggered a spherical of violence which in the end led Mr Trump to order the assassination of the highest Iranian common Qasem Soleimani and Kataib Hezbollah commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis the next month.

What is the background?

Earlier on Thursday, the US-led coalition within the area denied finishing up air strikes on Iran-backed Iraqi Shia militiamen in japanese Syria.

A monitoring group reported that bases belonging to the paramilitary Standard Mobilisation pressure have been hit on Wednesday night time, killing 26 folks. The Imam Ali army base, which is believed to have been constructed by Iran, was additionally focused.

However it was not instantly clear who carried out the strikes.

These adopted Wednesday’s assault on the Camp Taji army base that killed two Individuals and a British solider.

The Iraqi army base, which is about 15km (9 miles) north of the capital Baghdad, hosts international troops from the US-led international coalition towards IS. Their mission is to coach and advise Iraqi safety forces.

A coalition assertion mentioned that at about 19:35 (16:35 GMT) on Wednesday Camp Taji was hit by roughly 18 Katyusha rockets. Three coalition personnel have been killed and 12 others wounded, it added.

Iraqi journalist Ali Al Dulaimy, who filmed the assault from the close by city of Baji, mentioned he heard screams of panic from American troops contained in the camp, and that he noticed them speeding to place out fires.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the assault as “deplorable”, whereas the US defence secretary mentioned President Donald Trump had authorised a response and warned that each one choices have been on the desk.

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The UK Ministry of Defence recognized the British soldier who was killed as Lance Corporal Brodie Gillon, a Fight Medical Technician who served as a Reserve with the Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry.

The 2 American personnel who died have been active-duty troops with the US Military and Air Pressure, a US army official informed the New York Instances.

Why is Iraq drawn into the US-Iran confrontation?

Tensions between the arch-foes intensified final yr, after Iran-linked fighters focused US army and civilian personnel in a sequence of rocket assaults. There have been additionally unclaimed air strikes in Iraq focusing on militia amenities and Iranian officers.

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Media captionWho was Qasem Soleimani?

In late December, a rocket assault on an Iraqi army base killed a US civilian contractor. The US blamed the highly effective Kataib Hezbollah militia, which is a part of the Standard Mobilisation, and carried out air strikes on its bases in Iraq and Syria that left no less than 25 fighters lifeless.

The US embassy in Baghdad was then attacked by crowds of protesters, and President Trump warned Iran it will “pay a really large worth”.

On three January, Mr Trump authorised a drone strike close to Baghdad airport that killed Qasem Soleimani – commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps’ Quds Pressure and architect of Iranian coverage within the Center East – and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

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Media captionTroopers on the base took shelter in bunkers

5 days later, Iran launched ballistic missiles at Iraqi bases internet hosting US forces. The assault left greater than 100 US troops with traumatic mind accidents.

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Iran’s Supreme Chief, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, mentioned the missile assault was “a slap within the face” for the US and vowed to finish the American presence within the area.

There are about 5,000 US personnel and a whole bunch extra from different international locations in Iraq. They’re deployed on the request of the federal government, however the parliament handed a invoice following Soleimani’s killing demanding the invitation be rescinded.