During the week of the Jan.3rd second anniversary of the 2020 killing by US drone strike of IRGC commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani, there's been a spate of attacks on bases where American troops are stationed in Iraq and Syria. On Wednesday there's been three consecutive attacks so far.
As ABC News details, "Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. troops in Iraq's western Anbar province and the capital of Baghdad were hit by Katyusha rockets Wednesday while in Syria, eight rounds of indirect fire landed inside a base with members of the U.S.-led coalition, the Iraqi and U.S. militaries said."
This includes a rocket attack on al-Assad base in Western Iraq, after the day prior small drones targeted the base, but which were downed by the US anti-air systems operating there.
In Syria the base named 'Green Village' in Deir Ezzor was targeted in a fresh attack, the day following US 'preemptive' action against suspected rocket launch sites used by area militias.
The US-led Coalition on Wednesday issued a rare statement very openly blaming what it called "Iran-supported malign actors". US forces responded with artillery rounds, according a regional correspondent.
"Our Coalition continues to see threats against our forces in Iraq and Syria by militia groups that are backed by Iran," the statement said, singling out the Islamic Republic. "These attacks are a dangerous distraction from our Coalition's shared mission to advise, assist & enable partner forces to maintain the enduring defeat of Daesh."
Visual update here:— Nafiseh Kohnavard (@nafisehkBBC) January 5, 2022
Aerial footage of US-led coalition’s airstrikes on several rocket launching positions around Green Village, Deir Ezzur, Syria.
It seems that some attacks occurred this morning just before the Coalition base in Green Village became under rocket attack. pic.twitter.com/zWHRNiYL5a
US forward operating bases in Syria are especially vulnerable to possible attack, given their smaller size compared to Iraq bases where Americans are hosted.
Images in the aftermath of the attack in Syria were released Wednesday...
Exclusive— Nafiseh Kohnavard (@nafisehkBBC) January 5, 2022
Pix shows the impact of this morning’s rocket attack on US base in Green Village, Deir Ezzur, Syria.
Coalition forces has responded it by firing six rounds of artillery towards the point of origin of the attack just outside Mayadin, Syria pic.twitter.com/gGsMyoQCQ2
Despite the usual Iran blame-game coming out of the Pentagon, it also remains that Syrian Army and pro-Assad national forces want to see the US occupation come to an end. Could this be the start of a pressure campaign being waged from Damascus?
After all, if Assad decided to seek imposing a significant "cost" on US forces being there (chiefly in the oil-rich northeast, as well as al-Tanf on the Iraq border), it would indeed create huge problems back in Washington, given the current status of a relatively 'undefined' mission there.