The pace of attacks on Americans in Iraq is picking up after Biden's airstrikes along the Iraq-Syria border late last month were meant precisely as deterrence and as a response to prior drone attacks. Clearly it didn't work, but only served as but the next escalation portending more to come.
At least 14 rockets hit Ain Assad base Wednesday in the second such attack on the installation in as many days. US, Iraq, and other Western allied forces operation from the large base in western Anbar province. It's unclear whether the two injured are Americans or partner forces (the coalition spokesman initially assessed three injured before revising down to two).
Initial report: At approx. 12:30 PM local time, Ain Al-Assad Air Base was attacked by 14 rockets. The rockets landed on the base & perimeter. Force protection defensive measures were activated. At this time initial reports indicate 3 minor injuries. Damage is being assessed.— OIR Spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto (@OIRSpox) July 7, 2021
This week alone has now seen multiple brazen assaults on based hosting US troops, including a prior Monday rocket attack on Ain Assad, followed with a Tuesday attack on a US base in Erbil, and now on Wednesday the latest included a large volley of rockets. There was also the intercept of an inbound armed drone over the US embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday.
Mideast regional correspondent Joyce Karam writes that this latest makes five attacks on American forces in Iraq and Syria in less than 72 hours. They include:
Mon, July 5: Ain Al Assad, Iraq
Tue, July 6: Union III, Iraq
Tue, July 6: Erbil Airport, Iraq
Wed, July 7: Ain Al Assad, Iraq
Wed, July 7: Deir Zour, Syria
The Syria incident, meanwhile, is recapped in Reuters as follows: "In Syria, the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces said no damage was done by the drone attack on the Al Omar oil field in eastern Syria, an area bordering Iraq where U.S. forces came under rocket fire but escaped injury on June 28."
This week's incidents mark about 50 attacks in 2021 so far against US interests in Iraq at a moment it's believed less than 3,000 American troops remain (not counting the abundant contractors and intelligence personnel).
Though the perpetrators of these latest attacks are as yet unknown, the incidents are being widely viewed as part of broader revenge attacks for the aforementioned June 27 series of US airstrikes on Iran-backed militia groups along the Iraq-Syria border, which killed and wounded multiple fighters as well as reports of civilians.