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US forces, allies face rocket attacks in Iraq and Syria

July 8, 2021

A number of rocket attacks have been carried out against US military and diplomatic targets. According to the extremist monitoring group SITE, they were carried out by pro-Iranian militias.

The US embassy in Baghdad inside the fortified Green Zone
The US embassy compound in Baghdad was one of the targets attackedImage: Getty Images/AFP/A. Al-Rubaye

US troops and forces fighting against the self-styled "Islamic State" were targeted with rocket and drone attacks in Iraq and Syria on Wednesday.

Fourteen rockets were fired at a US air base in Iraq's western province of Anbar, leaving two military personnel with minor injuries.

Iraqi security forces said the rocket launcher was hidden inside a truck carrying bags of flour.

Previous attacks on US military and diplomatic targets have been blamed on pro-Iran militias.

A Shi'ite militant group called Revenge of al-Muhandis Brigade claimed responsibility for the attacks, according to the US-based SITE intelligence group.

SITE said the group takes it name from a terror leader killed in a US drone strike last year.

Diplomatic target attacked in Baghdad 

In Baghdad, two rockets were fired at the US embassy inside the fortified Green Zone of the Iraqi capital.

American anti-missile defense systems fired rockets into the air to take out one explosive-laden drone, whilst the other projectile fell close to the Green Zone's perimeter.

Islamic State drone being examined by an Iraqi security official
Islamic State remnants have started using explosive-laden drones to attack their targetsImage: Khalid Mohammed/AP Photo/ picture alliance

The US has led an 83-nation coalition against Islamic State since 2014. US forces, with 2,500 troops in Iraq as part of that coalition, have been targeted almost 50 times this year in the country.

Late last month, the US carried out air strikes against pro-Iran fighters in both Iraq and Syria.

US-backed forces under fire in Syria

Across the border in Syria, US-based forces also came under attack.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said they repelled drone attacks near the base in the Omar oil field in the country's east, in the second such operation in days.

"Our frontline forces against IS and coalition forces in the area of the Omar oil field dealt with drone attacks," it said, noting that the drones caused no damage.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor with sources inside Syria, said pro-Iran militias probably launched the drones from a rural area outside the town of Al-Mayadeen, southwest of the oil field.

The Observatory also blamed Iranian-backed militias for attacks in Omar on Monday last week.

jf/msh (AFP, Reuters)