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Pentagon confirms 10 rockets struck Iraqi base housing U.S. troops

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Iraqi Air Power helicopters land at Ain al-Asad airbase within the Anbar province, Iraq December 29, 2019.

Thaier Al-Sudani | Reuters

The Pentagon on Wednesday confirmed that almost a dozen rockets struck an Iraqi base internet hosting U.S. troops.

The preliminary report, tweeted by Military spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto, mentioned 10 “oblique hearth” rockets hit Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar province, the place a few of the 2,500 U.S. forces in Iraq are primarily based.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby mentioned no U.S service members had been injured within the assault. He added that “a U.S. civilian contractor suffered a cardiac episode whereas sheltering and sadly handed away shortly after.”

The Pentagon mentioned the Iraqi army is dealing with the investigation.

“Let’s let our Iraqi companions examine, see what they be taught. After which if a response is warranted, I feel now we have proven clearly that we can’t draw back from that. We’re simply not there but,” a Pentagon spokesperson mentioned when requested if the U.S. will reply to the assaults with army motion.

The Biden administration was briefed on the assault in a single day and has “reached out to subject and army to evaluate the harm and verify on personnel,” a White Home official instructed NBC Information.

Wednesday’s assault on Ain al-Asad comes on the heels of Biden’s resolution to strike Iran-aligned militia targets in Syria.

These strikes in Syria had been seen as a retaliatory effort in opposition to the Feb. 15 rocket assault in Erbil. Two days later, the Biden administration had hinted at retaliation.

“It’s honest to say that there shall be penalties for any group accountable for this assault,” State Division spokesman Ned Worth instructed reporters on the time.

The skirmishes may upset what the Biden administration considers a overseas coverage precedence: a return to the Iranian nuclear deal reached in the course of the Obama administration with a number of world powers. The settlement lifted financial sanctions on Iran in trade for curbs to its nuclear program.  

The deal has all however collapsed because the Trump administration unilaterally ditched it in 2018 and reimposed sweeping sanctions on Iran which have crippled its economic system.  

-CNBC’s Natasha Turak contributed to this report.

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