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Business News/ News / World/  Middle East Crisis: Iraq says outlaws fired rockets at US-coalition base in Syria

Middle East Crisis: Iraq says outlaws fired rockets at US-coalition base in Syria

A major search operation was launched in the northern Nineveh province by Iraqi security forces who have found the vehicle used in the attack

File image of US soldiers. The United States has around 2,500 soldiers stationed in Iraq and nearly 900 across the border in Syria as part of an international coalition created in 2014 to fight the Islamic State.

Rockets were launched on April 21 from northern Iraq towards a military base in Syria where a United States-led coalition is stationed, Iraqi security forces have said in a statement, AFP reported.

Responding to the attack, Iraqi forces launched a major search operation in northern Nineveh province, locating the vehicle used in the assault, they added.

This incident marks the first major attack against coalition forces in several weeks, following recent tensions in the Middle East, including an Israeli drone strike against Iran amid the Gaza war.

Details of the Attack, Suspected Perpetrators

The Iraqi security forces' statement highlighted that "outlaw elements" targeted the coalition base with rockets in Syrian territory around 9:50 pm (1850 GMT). The security forces destroyed the vehicle involved in the attack.

Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor, attributed the attack to rockets fired from Iraqi territory at the Kharab al-Jir base in northeast Syria, where US forces are present. He implicated the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a coalition of Iran-backed groups, in staging the assault.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks on US forces between mid-October and early February, following a series of rocket attacks and drone strikes. However, there has been a period of relative calm in the region recently.

Regional Tensions and US Military Presence

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq stated its actions were in solidarity with Palestinians and in protest against US support for Israel. Notably, a drone attack on January 28 resulted in the deaths of three US soldiers in the Jordanian desert on the Syrian border, prompting US military retaliation against pro-Iran forces.

The US maintains approximately 2,500 soldiers in Iraq and nearly 900 across the Syrian border as part of an international coalition formed in 2014 to combat the Islamic State group (IS).

The rocket attack on April 21 coincided with escalating tensions in the region, including recent incidents such as an explosion at an Iraqi military base early on April 20, resulting in casualties — one dead and eight wounded.

Security forces said the blast hit the Kalsu military base in Babylon province south of Baghdad, where regular army, police and members of Iraq's Popular Mobilisation Forces, or Hashed al-Shaabi, are stationed.

While CENTCOM, the US military command in the region, denied involvement, the Israeli army refrained from commenting on the matter, as per AFP.

(With inputs from AFP)

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