Iranian-backed rocket attacks on US increase in Iraq


Staff member
Iranian-backed rocket attacks on US increase in Iraq
The attacks are growing and coincide with Iranian-backed attacks by the Houthis against Saudi Arabia. They also go hand in hand with Iran trying to wring concessions from the US in Vienna.
MAY 4, 2021

On Tuesday two rockets landed at Ain Al-Asad air base in western Iraq. On Monday three to six rockets fell near Balad Air Base in Iraq according to various reports. The base houses US contractors and has been targeted numerous times in the past by pro-Iranian militias targeting Americans. This appears to be the third attack in three days, an increase in these pro-Iranian attacks on US forces in Iraq. The attackers frequently use 107mm rockets supplied by Iran, although they have also used drones in a new escalation. The attacks are designed to provide Iran leverage, to harass the US and to create plausible deniability for Iran.

The US line regarding these attacks is to claim that the base is an “Iraqi base” and note that it does not house US or coalition troops. This negates any need to hold anyone responsible. The US Pentagon press secretary John Kirby did acknowledge that “there is a private US company that does have contractors working there.” The US is “concerned about any use of violence by any group in Iraq.” This statement makes it clear the US does not currently want to emphasize that this attack fits a long pattern of pro-Iranian militias, many tied to leading parties in Iraq, targeting the US.