U.S. personnel wounded in missile attack on Iraq airbase by Iranian-backed rebels


Several U.S. personnel were injured in a missile attack Saturday night by Iranian-backed rebels on Al-Asad Airbase in Iraq, the Pentagon said.

At about 6:30 p.m. local time, multiple ballistic missiles and rockets were fired by Iranian-backed militants from western Iraq, U.S. Central Command said in a statement posted on social media.

The base’s air defense systems intercepted “most of the missiles,” but “others impacted the base,” CENTCOM reported.

Multiple U.S. personnel were being evaluated for traumatic brain injuries, CENTCOM said, and at least one Iraqi soldier was also wounded. No further details were immediately provided.

This marks the 144th attack on U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Syria since Hamas launched its violent Oct. 7 assault on Israel and sparked the Israel-Hamas war. This marks one of the largest such attacks and the second in which militia groups have fired ballistic missiles.

On Nov. 20, a ballistic missile attack on Al-Asad Airbase left eight people wounded and caused minor damage to the base itself. The U.S. killed several Iranian-backed militia personnel with a retaliatory strike.

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have been rising since the Gaza war, with the U.S. repeatedly accusing Iran of behind dozens of attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea by Yemen-based Houthi rebels, allegations Tehran has denied.

Iran’s foreign minister confirmed Tuesday that Iranian forces launched ballistic missiles at targets in both Iraq and Syria. The U.S. and Iraq condemned the deadly strikes that hit close to the under-construction U.S. consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil.   

The Pentagon on Tuesday said that, over the weekend, it seized a boatload of “advanced conventional weapons” sent from Iran to the Houthis.

David Martin, Omar Abdulkader, Tucker Reals and S. Dev contributed to this report.


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