The United States seems to have stepped in a wasp’s nest after their most recent strikes on ‘resistance’ positions along the Syrian-Iraqi border. The US strike took place on June 27th. The response from the resistance came on the very next day.
The largest American base in Syria – at the al-Omar Oil Field came under fire by at least 8 rockets, which resulted in no casualties but significant material damage. Exactly a week later, reports surfaced of another rocket attack on al-Omar, this time the rumors were first spread by a US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) spokesman.
The reports of an attack were subsequently denied by both the US and the SDF. Other reports, however, said the blasts were caused as a result of “training” activity taking place among foreign forces there.
Alongside all of this, US convoys in Iraq are subject to daily IED attacks, with the most recent one taking place on July 5th, in the Baghdad governorate.
There is no single area of focus for these attacks, as they happen all across Iraq’s provinces.
In the very early hours of July 6th, another attack took place in Iraq – this time in Baghdad’s “Green Zone” which hosts various important buildings, such as the US Embassy. The Union 3 US base is located there, and C-RAM air defense systems were activated in response to a suicide drone attack on the compound. In the middle of the night air raid sirens sounded and then the air defenses were activated and began hunting for the UAV, successfully downing it judging by footage that’s available online.
A more successful attack was aimed at al-Asad Air Base, also located in Iraq.
On July 5th, at least three rockets landed on the base, not causing any casualties and undisclosed material damage. Ain al-Asad has been the frequent target of rocket attacks attributed to Iran-backed Shiite militias operating both in Iraq and Syria. The base was also targeted by Iranian ballistic missiles in January of 2020, after the US killed Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad with an air attack. Soleimani was Tehran’s top Middle East operator.
The United States accuses Iranian-backed militia groups of launching regular rocket attacks against its troops in Iraq. The American punitive air strikes on bases operated by these militias along the Syrian-Iraqi border come in response to these “violations”. The Hashed-al-Shaabi, an Iraqi paramilitary alliance that includes several Iranian proxies and has become the main power broker in Baghdad, said the raids killed four of its fighters in the Qaim region near the border with Syria.
As such, it is likely that the response against Washington’s forces is far from over.