One US Contractor Dies After at Least 10 Rockets Hit Air Base Housing US Troops in Iraq: Pentagon

One US contractor died after at least ten rockets hit an air base housing US troops in Western Iraq.

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said the contractor “suffered a cardiac episode while sheltering” and died.

No other servicemembers were injured.

The rockets hit Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar province Wednesday morning.

AP reported:

A U.S. contractor died Wednesday when at least 10 rockets slammed into an air base housing U.S. and other coalition troops in western Iraq, the Pentagon said.

No one claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attack, which comes two days before Pope Francis is scheduled to visit the country amid concerns about security and the coronavirus pandemic. The much-anticipated trip will include stops in Baghdad, southern Iraq and the northern city of Irbil.

In addition to American troops, Danish and British are among those stationed at the base. It’s the same base that Iran struck with a barrage of missiles in January of last year in retaliation for the killing of Soleimani. Dozens of U.S. service members suffered concussions in that strike.

The Iraqi military released a statement saying that Wednesday’s attack did not cause significant losses and that security forces had found the launch pad used for the rockets — a truck. Video of the site shows a burning truck in a desert area.

Last week Joe Biden personally approved US airstrikes on Syria in response to recent Iranian-backed militia attacks on US forces in Iraq, Reuters was first to report. The Biden airstrikes reportedly targeted a facility in Syria belonging to Iranian-backed militias. 

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