In the latest in a series of attacks against American troops in Iraq, Iranian-backed militias shot two rockets on March 17 at a base south of Baghdad which houses U.S.-led coalition troops and NATO trainers. Since the beginning of 2020, Clarion Project has tracked 13 such assaults (see our infographic below).
March 11 saw the deadliest assault to date in the tit-for-tat attacks since America’s targeted killing of Iranian arch terrorist General Qasem Soleimani, who was directing the attacks against the U.S. troops in the region. An American soldier, an American contractor and a British soldier were killed in that attack.
In a second attack the same week, three U.S. troops and an Iraqi were injured on March 14 when a presumed Iranian-backed militia launched 33 Katyusha rockets at the Taji military base. The base is located nine miles north of Baghdad and houses US-led coalition troops who train and advise Iraqi security forces.
The U.S. responded with airstrikes targeting the militia.
Meanwhile, the U.S. announced plans to pull out of the al-Qaim base and two other prominent military bases in Iraq in the near future, leaving an American presence in only five bases in the country.
At the same time, U.S. Central Command announced that the government approved their request “to continue to operate two carrier strike groups in the region, which is the first period of extended dual U.S. carrier operations in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility since April 2012.”
The Secretary granted my request to continue to operate two carrier strike groups in the region, which is the first period of extended dual U.S. carrier operations in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility since April 2012. pic.twitter.com/o8sT0ehiN6
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) March 13, 2020
See our infographic below which tracks all the attacks against American troops in Iraq in 2020: