A missile attack on a military base in Iraq has resulted in the death of two American service members and one British service member, wounding 12 others.
ABC News reports the attack on Wednesday occurred when “18 107-mm Katyusha rockets impacted the large training facility at Camp Taji — which houses U.S. troops — at 7:35 p.m., local time in Iraq.”
The identities of the two individuals are being withheld until next of kin have been notified.
ABC News reports the U.S. officials provided no information about who was behind the attack but said there would be an appropriate response:
While the U.S. is not confirming who it believes is behind the attack, Iranian-backed militia groups have been found responsible for similar attacks on bases that house U.S. forces. And the Trump administration has warned that another Iranian attack that killed Americans would warrant a response.
“On the military side, we’ve warned the Iranians repeatedly — I’ve done so personally myself — that an attack that took American lives would not be tolerated,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a speech in January.
In December, an attack by the Iranian-backed militia group Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) on a base in northern Iraq killed an American contractor. That led the U.S. to take military retaliation against the group, carrying out airstrikes on several locations in Iraq and Syria.
The attack is the latest in a series of conflicts involving the U.S. and Iran.
Iran initially attacked U.S. forces and President Trump responded by ordering an attack on top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani as he left an Iraqi airport.
Soleimani was suspected of planning an imminent attack on U.S. forces.
Iranian officials responded with a missile barrage on an Iraqi base which was housing U.S. forces. While no one was killed in the initial attack, several officials were treated with injuries.
At the time of the Solemani strike, Pompeo said: “Judging from the type and intensity of the strike, the regime certainly must now understand what we will do if they ever again pose risk to American lives. If Iran escalates, we will end it on our terms.”
ABC News adds:
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
He and others in the administration have claimed the strike on Soleimani re-established deterrence with Iran. But Pompeo has acknowledged “it’s not everlasting.”
There have now been four American troops killed in Iraq this year alone.
Over the weekend, two U.S. Marine Raiders, Gunnery Sgt. Diego Pongo and Capt. Moises Navas, were killed during an anti-ISIS mission in northern Iraq.