Sunday, November 10, 2019
On Friday, the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve released a statement saying an attack that day on an Iraqi air base housing U.S. military personnel near Mosul produced no casualties.
A spokesperson told the Military Times the attack took place at about 7:45 p.m. "No Coalition troops were injured. We appreciate the Iraqi Security Forces immediate response and investigation. Coalition forces are in Iraq at the invitation of the Government of Iraq to defeat ISIS remnants;" read the statement; "we will not be deterred by these attacks and maintain the right to defend ourselves." Seventeen rockets struck near the base, according to Iraqi military.
No organization immediately claimed credit for the attack, but some Iraqi militias associated with Iran had made threats against U.S. personnel. The base is home to U.S. troops there to eliminate Islamic State elements in cooperation with Iraqi security forces.
This took place as anti-government protests continue in Baghdad and through the southern part of Iraq. Protesters have claimed Iran, especially, amongst other outside parties, is unduly influencing their government and inducing politicians to act against Iraq's interests. Their demands have included dissolving Parliament, appointing an election committee whose members are selected irrespective of party affiliation, and a clear date set for new elections. Protests are not reported in Mosul, in northern Iraq.
The protests began in early October, then went quiet for a few weeks, before resuming in late October. The news agency AFP has placed the protester death count in the hundreds.
The current government of Iraq was established in 2003 after a U.S.-led coalition ousted Saddam Hussein. Iraq has some of the largest oil reserves of any country in the world, but a large portion of its populace suffers from power outages and lack of economic opportunity. U.S. troops left Iraq in 2011, then at the Iraqi government's request returned three years later. There are reportedly about 5000 U.S. troops now in the country.
== Sources ==
Qassim Abdul-Zahra (Associated Press). "No casualties in rocket attack on Iraq base with US troops" — Army Times, November 8, 2019
Jamal Badrani and John Davison. "Rockets land near Iraqi base hosting U.S. forces, no casualties: Iraqi military" — Reuters, November 8, 2019
Greg Norman. "Iraq cuts off Internet access in Baghdad, southern regions as protests leave 3 more dead" — Fox News, November 5, 2019
"Deadly violence continues as Iraq protests escalate" — Al Jazeera, November 5, 2019
AFP. "Iraq cuts off internet as anti-government protests escalate" — France 24, November 5, 2019
Jane Arraf. "'They Have Stolen Everything from Us': Iraq's Anti-Government Protests Continue" — NPR, November 5, 2019
Ahmed Aboulenein and Raya Jalabi. "Iraqi forces shoot dead 13 protesters in renewed crackdown" — Reuters, November 5, 2019