January 15, 2020
It’s currently being described by regional analysts and reporters as a “huge” and “violent” missile attack on a base where US troops are present in Iraq, though no American casualties have been reported so far.
Conflicting local accounts suggest that multiple Iraqi personnel have been injured. Reuters has the early but limited details as follows:
Iraqi camp Taji north of Baghdad was targeted by Katyusha rockets on Tuesday, with no casualties reported, an Iraqi military statement said. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
A Bloomberg source citing Iraq’s Sumaria says 5 Katyusha rockets targeted the military base Camp Taji which lies north of Baghdad.
Bases with US personnel have been on high alert in the wake of the Soleimani assassination and Iran’s subsequent ballistic missile reprisal on a few US bases inside Iraq, which itself reportedly resulted in no Americans killed or injured.
This also follows a significant Sunday incident where eight Katyusha rockets were fired at Balad air base, which houses U.S. personnel, also in the region north of Baghdad.
The US administration has tended to blame Iran-backed paramilitary groups in Iraq, such as Kataib Hezbollah, for being behind what are now semi-regular attacks.
UPDATE – Iraq – Camp Taji rocket attack north of Baghdad injures 3 people: Sumaria https://t.co/EK8kZzeQ9x
— Zaid Sabah (@ZaidSabah) January 14, 2020
However, some sporadic ISIS activity in the region appears to be popping up again, also via Bloomberg wire citing Iraq’s Sumaria:
Militants from the Islamic State group attacked a police checkpoint in Salahuddin province in northern Iraq, killing one and injuring another, al-Sumaria reports, citing the province’s governor, Ammar al-Jubori.
Given the events of the past months, it’s entirely possible that future attacks by remnant ISIS cells in Iraq get blamed on Iran and Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) by the US administration.
It’s also possible that ISIS will taken advantage of the confused situation on the ground to sow more chaos, inviting greater US military intervention.
Perhaps the “new normal” in the Middle East…
Rockets target a base housing U.S. and coalition personnel in Al-Taji, Iraq and warplanes target Tiyas, T4 Base housing Iran-aligned forces in Homs, Syria. The new normal in the Middle East.
— 𝕋om 𝕆'ℂonnor (@ShaolinTom) January 14, 2020
This article was posted: Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 4:54 am