BAGHDAD (AP) — At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts US-led coalition troops on Wednesday, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. It was not immediately known if there were any casualties.
The rockets struck Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar province at 7:20 a.m., spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said.
Later, the Iraqi military released a statement saying the attack did not cause significant losses and that security forces had found the launch pad used for the missiles.
It was the first attack since the US struck Iran-aligned militia targets along the Iraq-Syria border last week, stoking fears of a possible repeat of a series of tit-for-tat attacks that escalated last year, culminating in the US-directed strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani outside the Baghdad airport.
Wednesday’s attack comes two days before Pope Francis’ is scheduled to visit Iraq in a much anticipated trip that will include Baghdad, southern Iraq and in the northern city of Irbil.
The US strike along the border had been in response to a spate of rocket attacks that targeted the American presence, including one that killed a coalition contractor from the Philippines outside the Irbil airport.
After that attack, the Pentagon said the strike was a “proportionate military response” taken after consulting coalition partners.
Marotto said the Iraqi security forces were leading an investigation into the attack on Ain al-Asad.