Pro-Iran militias attack US bases in Iraq again

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Three rockets targeted an Iraqi airbase in the western desert hosting American soldiers on Monday; the international anti-jihadist coalition said, a type of attack attributed by Washington to allies in Iraq of its great Iranian enemy.

The attack targeted the Ain al-Assad base in Anbar, in the western province of Iraq, according to coalition spokesman Colonel Wayne Marotto, who said there were no injuries or casualties. “The rockets landed in the perimeter of the base. But, again, there are no injuries, and the damage is being assessed,” the colonel said.

This new attack, not yet claimed, comes a week after the US attacks on the positions of the mighty Iraqi paramilitary coalition of “Hashad al-Chaabi” (popular mobilization force) in Syria and Iraq, which killed a dozen pro-militiamen. Iranians. The pro-Iran coalition opposes the US presence in Iraq. Its leaders have repeatedly approved rocket and drone attacks on Iraqi military bases that host Americans without officially claiming them.

A total of 45 attacks targeted US interests in Iraq and Syria since the beginning of the year. In particular, rockets were launched towards the American embassy in Baghdad, against the Iraqi military bases that host Americans, the airports of Baghdad and Erbil, as well as against the logistic convoys of the anti-Daesh coalition.Washington attributes these attacks to pro-Iranian factions in Iraq. The United States, which retains 2,500 troops in Iraq as part of the international coalition fighting the Islamic State (Isis), recently announced it offered up to $ 3 million for information on attacks on its interests in Iraq.

As mentioned, the current situation is not unprecedented. Iraq has long been a territory of confrontation between the Americans and Iranians because it allows the two opposing governments not to hit each other directly, thus avoiding a rapid escalation of violence, leading to the beginning of a real war.

Not striking depends on the relative ambiguity of the pro-Iranian Shiite militias present in Iraq, which are not part of the Iranian army. But they were partly trained and financed by Iran. They are the same militias that, during the war against the Islamic State, allied with the Iraqi army, with the common goal of defeating ISIS. Over time they have become increasingly influential and have been officially integrated into the Iraqi military: in recent years, due to Iran’s economic difficulties, primarily due to international sanctions and the pandemic, they have also begun to be funded by the government of Iraq, making their eventual dissolution extremely complicated.

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