Series of explosions at US bases in Iraq

Al-Asad base in Iraq, where many US and allied soldiers are stationed, was attacked by rockets and UAVs, leading to a series of explosions.

Two Iraqi security sources said that many rockets and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) attacked Al-Asad military airport near the capital, Baghdad, on October 19, leading to loud explosions at the base. The extent of damage and casualties in the incident is unclear, as well as the force that conducted the raid.

The Iraqi army then announced a blockade of the area around Al-Asad airport and began a “search operation.” Another US base near Baghdad International Airport was also hit by rockets, but local officials have not released further information.

US bases in Iraq have been attacked four times in the past 24 hours, two of which targeted Al-Asad airport.

Anonymous US officials said that air defense forces shot down two suicide UAVs that approached the Al-Asad base early on the morning of October 18, but one of them exploded, causing damage to equipment and killing many US soldiers Slightly injured. Some people had to undergo medical examination due to suspected concussion.

Officials declined to comment on the origin of the UAVs and the force that deployed them. The incident occurred in the context of the US increasing vigilance against pro-Iranian militia groups in the Middle East amid escalating regional tensions due to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The US Department of Defense has not commented on the information.

Al-Asad is one of the key bases of the US-led coalition against the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS), and is also one of two targets that Iran attacked with ballistic missiles in 2020. Al-Harir is home to many modern aircraft of the US Army and Air Force Special Command.

The US sent troops into Iraq in 2003 to overthrow President Saddam Hussein, then completely withdrew its forces from Iraq in December 2011 at the behest of President Barack Obama, but returned in 2014 to fight IS at the request of President Barack Obama. Baghdad.

Location of Al-Asad base in Iraq. Graphics: BBC

Location of Al-Asad base in Iraq. Graphics: BBC

Although IS has been defeated, the US still maintains 2,500 soldiers stationed in Iraq to train and support the country’s army to prevent rebels from rising.

US facilities and forces in Iraq have been repeatedly attacked by rockets in recent years. The US accused pro-Iranian militias of being behind these attacks and repeatedly launched air strikes in response.