Updated Mar 12, 2020 - World

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

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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3 Americans injured in rocket strike on Iraqi camp

U.S. Army forces supervise a training session at Camp Taji, Iraq. Photo: Sabah Arar/AFP via Getty Images

Three American and two Iraqi service members were injured Saturday morning in a rocket attack on Camp Taji in Iraq, a base north of Baghdad, U.S. military spokesperson Army Col. Myles Caggins tweeted.

Driving the news: The U.S. targeted five Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah (KH) weapon storage facilities in Iraq on Thursday, following Wednesday's lethal attack that killed two U.S. service members, per the Department of Defense.

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

U.S. launches retaliatory strikes against Iranian-backed militias in Iraq

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on March 5 in Arlington, Virginia. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The U.S. targeted five Kataib Hezbollah (KH) weapon storage facilities in Iraq on Thursday, following Wednesday's lethal attack on U.S. service members, the Department of Defense said.

Driving the news: Two U.S. service members and one member of the anti-ISIS coalition were killed in a rocket attack in Iraq on Wednesday. Similar rocket attacks in the past have been attributed to KH.

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U.S.-led coalition in Iraq withdraws from 3rd base this month

A soldier stands guard at the Qayyarah Airfiend in southern Mosul, March 26. Photo: Murtadha Al-Sudani/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The U.S.-led coalition in Iraq withdrew from K1 Air Base in the northern part of the country on Sunday, AP reports.

Why it matters: It's the third site that coalition forces have left this month as the U.S. gathers troops in Baghdad and at Ain al-Asad Air Base.

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