Two American personnel and one from Britain have been killed and about a dozen wounded when 15 small rockets hit Iraq’s Taji military camp north of Baghdad, two US officials say, citing preliminary information.
The officials said it was too early to assign blame, but any indication that Iran-backed militia were responsible could ignite a new round of military escalation between the United States and Iran.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, declined to quantify the number of troops and military contractors among the dead and wounded and noted that the information was just coming in and could change.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Iraqi military said no casualties had been reported in the attack.
The Coalition @CJTFOIR confirms more than 15 small rockets impacted Iraq’s Camp Taji base hosting Coalition troops, March 11 at 7:35 p.m. (Iraq Time). Assessment and investigation ongoing, follow @OIRSpox & @SecMedCell for updates. https://t.co/oNgNfCEYG7
— OIR Spokesman Col. Myles B. Caggins III (@OIRSpox) March 11, 2020
Iran-backed paramilitary groups have regularly been rocketing and shelling bases in Iraq that host US forces and the area around the US Embassy in Baghdad.
The Kataib Hezbollah militia was blamed for an attack on a base last year which killed an American contractor, which led to retaliatory US strikes against it in Iraq and Syria.
Earlier this year, 11 Iranian ballistic missiles struck the al-Asad air base in Iraq after the United States killed a top Iranian general.
The Iranian attack led to more 100 American service members being diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injuries.