A barrage of rockets hit Camp Taji in Iraq, killing three people, including two American service members and one British service member. At least a dozen coalition personnel were wounded in the attack. The incident is “under investigation.” US officials are laying the blame squarely on Iran.
“The Iranian proxy group Kata’eb Hezbollah is the only group known to have previously conducted an indirect fire attack of this scale against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq…What has not changed is their continuing desire to operate through their proxies indirectly against us.” Gen. Kenneth McKenzie to the Senate
Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Myles Caggins gave this statement:
“UPDATE: 3 Coalition personnel were killed during a rocket attack on Camp Taji, March 11. Names of personnel are withheld pending next of kin notification. Camp Taji is an Iraqi base that hosts @CJTFOIR personnel for anti-ISIS training & advising missions.”
CJCS GEN Mark Milley: Dozen rockets from Iranian-backed groups that impacted Iraq's Camp Taji on Weds caused "some structural damage" to buildings and facilities on the base. But top US military officer declined to say if Iran attack bc of Soleimani's bday or Coronavirus. https://t.co/5s0VfpCYSZ
— Jack Detsch (@JackDetsch) March 12, 2020
According to OIR, “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.”
The Iraqi government reported that they found a vehicle bearing three Katyusha rockets remaining near Rashidiya.
سقوط عشرة صواريخ كاتيوشا داخل معسكر التاجي بدون خسائر , تم العثور على عجلة نوع كيا بنكو تحمل منصة صواريخ فيها ثلاث صواريخ متبقية جنوب منطقة الراشدية. pic.twitter.com/onxirvQgTs
— خلية الإعلام الأمني🇮🇶 (@SecMedCell) March 11, 2020
The Coalition forces are made up of personnel from several countries. Ben Wallace, Britain’s defense secretary, stated, “Last night’s attack on UK and coalition personnel was a cowardly and retrograde act. The men and women of the UK armed forces are in Iraq to help that country establish stability and prosperity. The people that did this are not friends of Iraq.”
The fact remains that the Shi’ite militia Kataib Hezbollah in Iraq is an Iranian proxy, and a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. They sent an “angry mob” to attack the US embassy. They launched other attacks after our forces took out IRCG leader Soleimani and other jihadists. This is a larger attack of approximately 10-18 rockets that left some of the buildings at Camp Taji in flames.
Kataib Hezbollah praised the attack on Camp Taji, but stopped short of claiming responsibility. The Shi’ite militia said that the US must “bear the responsibility” of being in Iraq “illegally.”
What was the US/Coalition response or was there one yet? General Mark Milley stated that “all options are on the table.” And though “unidentified planes” attacked an Iranian militia position near the Iraqi border in Syria, officials said it was not related to the Camp Taji incident.
Today’s deadly attack on Iraq’s Camp Taji military base will not be tolerated. @DominicRaab and I agree – those responsible must be held accountable.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) March 12, 2020
“The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 10 airstrikes carried out by three unidentified aircraft that targeted pro-Iran militias in the Boukamal region in eastern Syria, near the border with Iraq. The Britain-based Observatory which monitors the Syria war through a network of activists on the ground said at least 10 explosions were heard in the region but said there was no immediate word on casualties.
U.S. officials said the strike was not related to the Taji base strike at all. But, it was not immediately clear who conducted the attack.”
Featured photo of attack on Camp Taji via Twitter, newsoz.org