Baghdad [AFP]. Two Americans – a soldier and a subcontractor – and a British military man died on Wednesday in rocket attacks against a military base in Iraq, in a new escalation in the tension between U.S and its allies, on the one hand, and between Iran and its fighters, on the other.
After this attack, the deadliest in years against a base with US soldiers, there were aerial bombardments of the positions of Iranian fighters on the border between Iraq and Syria, the director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), Rami Abdel Rahman, informed AFP. These air strikes killed 18 Iraqi paramilitaries, according to the same source.
It is the twenty-second attack since the end of October against American interests in Iraq. It has not been claimed, but Washington, which leads the international anti-jihadist coalition in Iraq, usually attributes these types of attacks to the pro-Iranian Iraqi factions.
Following the airstrikes, which could be retaliation, more violent acts are feared in Iraq, where the tension between the two great allies of Baghdad (Tehran and Washington) has already degenerated in recent months.
– “Ten explosions” –
The two soldiers, one American and one British, and the subcontractor died on Wednesday night at the Iraqi base of Taji, in northern Baghdad, an AFP official told AFP. U.S.
The Pentagon confirmed the deaths of three members of the coalition, including two Americans. Another 12 people were injured in the attack, which is being investigated, it reported.
The international anti-jihadist coalition led by U.S it reported 18 rockets fired.
The coalition is made up of dozens of Member States, including U.S, which has deployed 5,200 soldiers at various military bases in Iraq.
A few hours later, “ten explosions ” they shook an area south of the Syrian city of Bukamal, bordering on IraqAbdel Rahman informed AFP.
Three planes, probably from the international coalition, attacked Iranian positions and allied armed factions, including the “Iraqi Hashd al Shaabi,” the OSDH director said, referring to the Popular Mobilization Forces, a coalition of paramilitaries who are currently part of the forces. Iraqi regulars.
At least “18 Iraqi fighters ” of the Popular Mobilization Forces have died, he added.
In the past, rocket attacks against soldiers, diplomats, or facilities of U.S in Iraq They killed an American subcontractor and an Iraqi soldier.
– Political paralysis –
Firing rockets into bases housing US soldiers or into Baghdad’s ultra-protected green zone, where the American embassy is located, is frequent, but Wednesday’s number is especially high.
In late 2019, two days after the death of an American from the firing of 30 rockets at an Iraqi military base in Kirkuk (north), the US army attacked five bases, in Iraq and in Syria, from a pro-Iranian armed faction, the Hezbollah brigades, causing 25 deaths in their ranks.
The resulting increase in tension between Washington and Tehran led to the assassination in Baghdad of the powerful Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and his Iraqi lieutenant in a US attack. In retaliation, Iran bombed Iraqi bases that house US soldiers.
The international coalition formed in 2014 against the Islamic State (IS) group continues to fight and provide air support to the Iraqi troops because although the IS has lost the territory, it maintains clandestine cells capable of committing attacks.
On Sunday two American soldiers died in fighting against jihadists in northern Iraq. The coalition had announced that it was suspending its activities in Iraq due to the tension between Tehran and Washington.
The Iraqi parliament recently voted in favor of expelling 5,200 US soldiers from the country, a decision still pending application by the government.
Iraq He has been mired in political paralysis and unprecedented anti-government protests for months.
The government that resigned in December has yet to be replaced due to lack of agreement in parliament, the most fragmented in recent history of Iraq.