US Secretary Of State Pompeo Says Iraqi Leaders Privately Want US Troops

Four rockets hit Iraq airbase hosting US troops

Four soldiers injured in rocket strike on at Iraqi airbase hosting US military

The attack on the bases came on 8 January, just hours after US Defence Secretary Mark Esper warned US President Donald Trump that he should expect retaliation over the killing of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad last week.

"People took this very seriously", she said, and three-and-a-half hours later the missiles rained down.

When the dust settled and it was reported there were no casualties, some media outlets said Iran deliberately missed killing us forces to avoid escalating the situation.

The secrecy that has surrounded the special-forces mission is one of the reasons for the demand, said NDP foreign affairs critic Jack Harris, noting long-standing questions about what the troops are actually doing, including whether they are - or have been - involved in combat remain unanswered.

At 11 p.m. on January 7, U.S. Lt. Col. Antoinette Chase gave the order for American troops at Ain al-Asad air base in western Iraq, to go on lockdown.

On Sunday the Iraqi military said four people had been wounded in an attack on Balad air base in northern Iraq, which also houses USA personnel.

Earlier, the base was used by USA military.

The attack comes amid increasing tensions between Iran and the United States after a us drone strike killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iran's top general, earlier this month.

The sprawling complex in the western Anbar province is about 180 kilometers west of Baghdad and is shared with the Iraqi military.

The divergent views follow not only an extremely explosive and unpredictable week, which saw the US and Iran come to the brink of war, but also mixed assessments in recent months of the progress in training the Iraqi military and eradicating ISIL.

"They knew what they were aiming at by targeting the airfield and parking area".

The base received a notification that the missiles were on their way, thanks to early warning systems, Caggins said, and troops were moved out of harm's way. And yet Hajizadeh repeated the spurious claim that the attack had killed United States soldiers. Facilities at the base were split with Iraqi forces when USA troops returned in 2014 leading a multi-national coalition to defeat ISIS militants.

The Al-Balad base had held a small US Air Force contingent as well as American contractors, but most were evacuated following a sharp rise in friction between the US and Iran over the past two weeks, military sources told AFP. In my opinion, I couldn't be happier or more proud of what the soldiers and the coalition forces did that night, "she added".

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