U.S. Troops Wounded In Ballistic Missile Attack By Iran-Backed Troops
A missile attack by Iranian-backed rebels on Al-Asad Airbase in Iraq caused the injury of several U.S. military personnel. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the attack was carried out on Saturday around 6:30 p.m. local time.
Several U.S. personnel were injured in a missile attack Saturday night by Iranian-backed rebels on Al-Asad Airbase in Iraq, the Pentagon said. https://t.co/FS8hrDwAHd
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 20, 2024
As written in a statement posted on the U.S. Central Command’s social media account, Iranian-backed militants from western Iraq fired multiple ballistic missiles and rockets at the base which hosts American troops. While the base’s air defense systems managed to intercept most of the missiles fired, some were able to impact the base after evading air defenses.
According to CENTCOM, multiple U.S personnel were checked for traumatic brain injuries. However, at least one Iraqi soldier was injured in the attack. An assessment of the damage caused to the base is ongoing, the U.S. military said.
Saturday’s attack marks the 144th attack carried out against U.S. military troops stationed in Iraq and Syria since the Israel-Hamas war began after the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas. It, however, falls on the larger side of those attacks, as it is the second of the attacks in which militia groups would use ballistic missiles.
The first time ballistic missiles would be used in such an attack was on Nov. 20, when minor damage was caused to the Al-Asad Airbase, causing the injury of eight officials.
Per BBC News, the responsibility for Saturday’s attack was claimed by an Iraqi group calling itself the Islamic Resistance. The group, which reportedly came up late last year, consists of several armed groups affiliated with Iran who are all operating in Iraq. The same organization has claimed responsibility for some other attacks against U.S. troops in recent weeks.
Saturday’s attack came on the same day U.S. troops launched a strike on the Iran-backed Houthi rebels controlling much of western Yemen. According to the U.S. military, it launched the airstrike against the group after it identified a ready-to-launch ballistic missile aimed into the Gulf of Aden.
In a post to X, CENTCOM wrote, “US forces determined the missile presented a threat to merchant vessels and US Navy ships in the region, and subsequently struck and destroyed the missile in self-defense.”