US-led coalition says three killed in Iraq rocket attack | News | DW | 11.03.2020
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US-led coalition says three killed in Iraq rocket attack

The coalition fighting "Islamic State" militants in Iraq has confirmed that three of its personnel had been killed in a rocket attack on a military camp in Iraq. About a dozen additional personnel were wounded.

Two US soldiers and a British soldier were killed on Wednesday in the deadliest rocket attack in years on an Iraqi military base hosting foreign troops. 

A statement from the US-led coalition in Iraq said approximately 18 Katyusha rockets struck the Taji military camp north of Baghdad. 

"The attack is under investigation by the Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces," the statement said. 

Read more: US embassy in Iraq hit by rockets

US officials said that, of the 12 injured, five service members were seriously wounded and evacuated from the camp. There was a possibility of the death toll rising because of the severity of the injuries sustained by some personnel.

Iraq’s presidency has condemned the attack on the military camp, calling for an investigation into the attack. In a statement, the presidency added, “This aggression targets Iraq’s security.”

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US and UK say attack 'won't be tolerated'

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also condemned the attack in a statement.

“We will continue to liaise with our international partners to fully understand the details of this abhorrent attack,” Johnson said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted, "Today’s deadly attack on Iraq’s Camp Taji military base will not be tolerated."

He confirmed that he had liaised with UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

While officials maintain that it is too early to assign blame, any speculation that Iran-backed militia was involved in the attack may lead to an escalation of tensions between the US and Iran.

Read more: Coronavirus in Iraq: Bullets, repression, Iran trump COVID-19

Spiraling tensions

Early this year, a US drone strike killed Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani. Iran retaliated by firing missiles at an Iraqi base that was hosting US forces. Over 100 military personnel were injured in the attack.

In a bid to avoid further escalation, the US Congress on Wednesday approved a measure that would prevent President Donald Trump from taking military action against Iran without a vote from Congress.

Trump, however, is likely to veto the resolution.

ed, see/sms (dpa, Reuters, AFP, AP)

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