Ain al-Asad Air Force Base in the western Anbar Desert, Iraq, Sunday, December 29, 2019.
Wet Wet | AP
At least 10 missiles were aimed at a military base in western Iraq where US-led coalition forces are stationed on Wednesday, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. It was not immediately known whether there were victims.
The missiles hit Ain al-Asad Air Force Base in Anbar Province at 7:20 a.m., said spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto.
The Iraqi military later issued a statement that the attack caused no significant casualties and that security forces had found the launch pad for the missiles.
It was the first attack since the US hit Iranian-targeted militia targets along the Iraqi-Syrian border last week, fueling fears of a possible repeat of a series of TIT-for-TAT attacks that escalated last year and in the US culminated in a strike in which the Iranian general Qassim Soleimani was killed outside Baghdad airport.
The attack on Wednesday comes two days before Pope Francis’ scheduled visit to Iraq on a highly anticipated trip that will include Baghdad, southern Iraq and the northern city of Irbil.
The U.S. strike along the border was in response to a spate of rocket attacks targeting the American presence, including one that killed a coalition entrepreneur from the Philippines outside Irbil Airport.
Following the attack, the Pentagon said the strike was an “appropriate military response” that was taken after consultation with coalition partners.
Marotto said Iraqi security forces have opened an investigation into the attack on Ain al-Asad.