A U.S. military base in western Iraq has been hit by a new rocket attack
BAGHDAD, (BM) – A U.S. military base in western Iraq has been hit by a new rocket attack as the country’s unrest persisted in the wake of the prime minister’s resignation, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, quoting Newsweek.
The Iraqi security forces’ media cell reported Tuesday that “five rockets fell within the Ayn al-Asad Air Base in Anbar Province, without significant losses, and we will share with you the details later.” The attack is only the latest in a string of unclaimed rocket strikes often targeting positions affiliated with the U.S. presence in the country.
The U.S. military first entered Iraq to beat back the invading forces of longtime leader Saddam Hussein from neighboring Kuwait in 1991 and to enforce a no-fly-zone. A decade later, in 2003, the U.S. led its own invasion, overthrowing Hussein and ultimately setting up a new government, which has gone on to foster ties with both the U.S. and its top regional foe, Iran.
Washington and Tehran both collaborated with Baghdad to defeat the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), but have since turned on one another as President Donald Trump’s administration exited a 2015 nuclear deal, imposed sanctions on Tehran and sought to restrain its growing influence across the Middle East, leading to new bouts of unrest across the region.
Adding to tensions, the Iraqi people have taken to the streets in unprecedented demonstrations that have forced Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi to step down and have targeted the influence the U.S., Iran and others seeking to take advantage of the once-powerful Arab nation still in ruins after decades of conflict.
Two years after Iraq officially declared victory over ISIS, much of Iraq’s infrastructure has yet to be repaired and corruption has run rampant in a sectarian political system many citizens feel was imposed by the U.S., which has at least 5,000 troops deployed throughout the country, and was later exploited by Iran, which has close ties to largely Shiite Muslim militias and political leaders. Adel Abdul-Mahdi, who succeeded former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi last October, sought to balance the two.
Since nationwide demonstrations began in October, hundreds of Iraqis have been reported killed in clashes with security forces. Abdul-Mahdi had reportedly succumbed to the pressure of the deteriorating situation weeks ago but retained the support of both the U.S. and Iran.
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