Updated Mar 12, 2020 - World

2 U.S. service members killed by rocket attack in Iraq

service members at camp taji
Service members at Camp Taji, Iraq. Photo: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP via Getty Images

Two U.S. service members and one other member of the anti-ISIS coalition were killed in a rocket attack in Iraq Wednesday, a Defense Department spokesperson confirmed to the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The Pentagon has not yet said who is responsible, but past rocket attacks of this kind have been attributed to Iranian-backed Shiite militias like Kataib Hezbollah (KH). In December, a rocket attack by KH killed a U.S. contractor in Iraq, resulting in a string of retaliatory attacks that culminated in a U.S. drone strike against top Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

  • Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, said Kataib Hezbollah is the only militia group known to have carried out "an indirect fire attack on this scale against U.S. coalition forces in Iraq," Politico reports.

The big picture: The drone strike drastically escalated tensions with Iran and brought the two countries to the brink of war. Wednesday's attack, if attributed to Iran, could set off another crisis after months of relative calm.

What we know: U.S. military spokesperson Army Col. Myles Caggins confirmed in a tweet that more than 15 small rockets hit Iraq’s Camp Taji base. The camp is located north of Baghdad and is used as a training base.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates

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