An Iraqi base housing U.S. troops came under drone attack early Friday morning, a U.S. military official told Military Times.
There were no casualties or damage, said Army Col. Wayne Marotto, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led international coalition battling ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
The attack took place at the Bashur base at 1:23 a.m. local time Friday, Marotto said. He could not immediately say how many U.S. troops are housed there.
The Thaereen Brigade, a militia group, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was carried out with “booby-trapped drones,” Rudaw English, a Kurdish media operation, reported, citing a Telegram channel affiliated with Iran-backed militias.
The attack on Bashur is the latest in a string of attacks on facilities in Iraq and Syria housing U.S. forces.
So far this year, there have been at least 25 such reported rocket and drone attacks, according to data compiled by Rudaw English, which said the most recent attack was two weeks ago.
There was a rocket attack on U.S. forces at an oil facility in Syria on July 10, Marotto told Military Times. There were no injuries, Marotto said.
A day before, two Katuysha rockets fell near the national security building, and in an open courtyard inside the Green Zone. A third rocket fell in a nearby residential area, damaging a civilian vehicle, the statement by the Iraqi security media cell said. There were no injuries in those incidents, Marotto said.
On July 7, a rocket attack on an Iraqi base housing U.S. troops resulted in two minor injuries, Marotto announced on Twitter at the time.
The Ain Al-Asad Air Base was hit by 14 rockets at about 12:30 p.m. local time, landing on the base and perimeter, he said.
In addition to the rockets that landed on the base, the incident caused damage to a nearby Iraqi neighborhood when unlaunched rockets exploded, according to Iraqi officials.
The most recent drone attack, said Marotto, was July 6, when one struck a t-wall at the Erbil airport.
A day before that, a drone was shot down near the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad after midnight. There were no casualties. Two U.S. military officials at the time said the drone was launched by Iranian proxies, adding that it was weaponized with explosives and was loitering over the U.S.-led coalition base in Baghdad.
In late June, President Joe Biden ordered U.S. airstrikes against facilities in Syria and Iraq associated with the militia drone threat.
The U.S. strikes were carried out by F-15 and F-16 jets, a defense official told Military Times at the time. They “targeted operational and weapons storage facilities at two locations in Syria and one location in Iraq,” both of which lie close to the border between those countries, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said at the time. “Several Iran-backed militia groups, including Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS), used these facilities.”
The attack on Friday came as the U.S. and Iraq are discussing the future of U.S. military commitment to Iraq.
“The United States and Coalition Forces will stay vigilant and maintain the inherent right to self-defense,” Marotto said Saturday morning.
Howard Altman is an award-winning editor and reporter who was previously the military reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and before that the Tampa Tribune, where he covered USCENTCOM, USSOCOM and SOF writ large among many other topics.