US-Led Military Base in Syria Hit by Rockets Fired From Iraq

(Bloomberg) -- A military base in Syria belonging to a US-led coalition came under rocket-fire late on Sunday, the government-affiliated Iraqi Security Media Cell said in a statement.

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At least one rocket landed at the base, said Rami Abdulrahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in an interview with Al-Arabiya.

It wasn’t immediately clear if there were any casualties. US Central Command, which oversees American forces in the Middle East, is yet to comment.

The attacks are the first against US bases in the region since early February, when Washington struck Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria. That was in response for a drone assault that killed three American soldiers in Jordan and was blamed by the US on an umbrella group called the Islamic Resistance in Iraq.

Iran backs a number of anti-US and anti-Israel militias in Iraq and Syria and they ramped up attacks on American bases after the Israel-Hamas war began in October.

Iraqi forces are conducting a search operation west of Nineveh, near the Syrian border, to try to capture the perpetrators of the latest attack, according to Iraqi Security Media Cell.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq didn’t explicitly claim responsibility for the strike, but in a statement on Telegram the militant group said it decided to resume military operations against American troops after Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani visited the White House and met President Joe Biden this month. The group gave Al-Sudani three months to negotiate the departure of the roughly 2,000 US forces in Iraq.

“What happened a short while ago is the beginning that must be escalated,” according to the group’s statement.

The attack followed an explosion on a base in Iraq this weekend controlled by the Popular Mobilization Forces, a coalition of Iran-allied militias, killing one person and injuring eight, the Associated Press reported. The US said it wasn’t behind that incident.

--With assistance from Kateryna Kadabashy.

(Adds context on it being first attack on US bases in region since early February.)

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