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US contractor killed after rocket attacks on Iraq base

US Army Apache Longbow helicopters line the ramp at the airfield in Ein Al-Assad military base, Iraq, as seen on 7 January 2004 [SSGT Suzanne Jenkins, USAF]
US Army Apache Longbow helicopters line the ramp at the airfield in Ein Al-Assad military base, Iraq, as seen on 7 January 2004 [SSGT Suzanne Jenkins, USAF]

A US "civilian contractor" died of a heart attack yesterday following a rocket attack on the Ain Al-Assad Air Base which hosts US forces in western Iraq, the Pentagon has revealed.

According to both Iraqi and US sources, at least ten rockets struck the base although there were no reported casualties among the US or coalition forces stationed there. The base, located in the Al-Baghdadi area of Anbar province came under fire around 7:20am local time, said Colonel Wayne Marotto, a spokesperson a coalition spokesperson.

The attacks come a week after US President Joe Biden carried out his first military action since taking office earlier this year. The air strike on the Iraq-Syria border was said to be an "authorised response" by Biden to recent attacks against US forces in Iraq against Iranian-supported militant groups. The fatalities are disputed, with some reports claiming up to 22 people were killed, while the Iran-backed Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) have claimed that only one fighter was killed, a Sunni member named Rahi Salam Zayed.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has since stated that the Biden administration is assessing the impact of the attack and may consider further military action in response. Currently, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The same air base was notable in being targeted early last year by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in a ballistic missile attack in retaliation for the US drone strike ordered by Biden's predecessor Donald Trump which killed top Iranian General Qassim Soleimani and PMF deputy-head Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.

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Asia & AmericasIranIraqMiddle EastNewsSyriaUS
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