Iraqi troops train with US soldiers at the Taji base. File imagePicture copyright
Reuters

Picture caption

Iraqi troops prepare with US troopers on the Taji base. File picture

Three individuals have been killed after a base internet hosting US and UK troops in Iraq was hit by a rocket assault.

No less than 12 individuals have been injured within the assault on the Taji army camp, north of Baghdad.

US army sources stated an American soldier, an American contractor and a British soldier have been killed. No names have but been launched.

Rigidity has been excessive for the reason that US killed senior Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike in January.

A retaliatory Iranian strike on al-Asad – one other base internet hosting US troops – on eight January left greater than 100 troopers affected by traumatic mind accidents (TBI).

Nevertheless, each Iran and the US appeared then to need to draw a line beneath the matter and there have been no main flare-ups since.

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A press release from the US-led coalition in Iraq and Syria confirmed that 18 rockets had struck the bottom and three coalition personnel had been killed.

In an earlier tweet, a spokesman for the coalition stated the assault occurred at 19:35 native time (16:35 GMT) on Wednesday. He added that an investigation had been launched.

The UK Ministry of Defence stated in a press release that the British soldier who was killed was a member of the Royal Military Medical Corps.

“The service individual’s household have been knowledgeable and have requested a interval of privateness earlier than additional particulars are launched,” the assertion stated.

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UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace referred to as the assault a “cowardly and retrograde act”.

He stated his ideas have been with the households of these killed or injured, including: “We will not overlook their sacrifice and can guarantee those that dedicated these acts face justice.”

Earlier, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated the assault was “deplorable”.

“The overseas secretary has spoken to the US secretary of state and we’ll proceed to liaise with our worldwide companions to totally perceive the small print of this abhorrent assault,” he stated.

No-one has stated they have been accountable for the assault and the US and UK haven’t but attributed blame. However, prior to now, Washington has accused Iran-backed factions in Iraq of finishing up comparable strikes.

There have been reviews of retaliatory air strikes elsewhere in Iraq, near the Syrian border, however these haven’t been confirmed.

Why is Iraq drawn into the US-Iran confrontation?

Tensions between the arch-foes intensified final 12 months, after Iran-backed militia fighters focused US army and civilian personnel in a collection of rocket assaults. There have been additionally unclaimed air strikes in Iraq focusing on militia amenities and Iranian officers.

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 paramilitary Common Mobilisation power. It carried out air strikes on its bases in western Iraq and jap Syria that left not less than 25 fighters useless.

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

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

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Media captionContained in the US base attacked by Iranian missiles

5 days later, Iran launched ballistic missiles at Iraqi bases internet hosting US forces. The assault didn’t kill any troops however greater than 100 have been later recognized with concussion.

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

What’s the standing of US troops in Iraq?

There are about 5,000 US army personnel and tons of extra from different international locations in Iraq as a part of a worldwide coalition in opposition to the jihadist group Islamic State (IS).

The coalition is tasked with advising and aiding Iraqi safety forces attempting to forestall a resurgence of IS, which was defeated militarily in Iraq in 2017 however nonetheless has 1000’s of militants within the nation.

On Monday, two US troopers have been killed throughout a raid on an IS hideout within the Qarachogh mountains of central Iraq.

The coalition’s forces stay in Iraq on the authorities’s invitation, however the Iraqi parliament has handed a invoice demanding that the invitation be rescinded.

The UK, in the meantime, has 400 troops based mostly within the Center East and works alongside US forces within the area.

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