Washington: US Department of State alleged that ‘Iran is the one responsible for the rocket attacks on the US bases in Iraq over the last few days. The Iran-backed groups from Iraq are targeting the US bases and soldiers with the attacks.’ At the same time, the US Department of State also warned that it reserved the right to retaliate against the aggression. Only last week, a senior Iranian military official had threatened the US saying that thousands of Iranian missiles were aimed at 21 US military bases in the Middle East.
Over the last five weeks, nine instances of rocket attacks occurred on the military bases of the US as also on those of its allies hosting US troops in Iraq. Furthermore, four rocket attacks were also launched on the international airport in capital Baghdad on Monday. The United States, however, alleged that the attacks intended to target its military bases located nearby and not the international airport. The US soldiers were patrolling the site of the attack, although no casualties were reported. Nevertheless, the United States has taken serious cognisance of the spate of attacks.
David Schenker, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker, alleged that Iran and pro-Iran militia in Iraq were responsible for the attacks on the US military bases and ground forces. ‘The Iranian-backed militias are now shelling Iraqi bases with American and anti-ISIS Coalition forces on them — Balad, al-Asad, et cetera. If you look at the history, Iran will be found responsible for the attacks. The United States is waiting for full evidence,’ Schenker warned.
In an interview with a US news channel, Pentagon Spokesperson Shaun Robertson said that serious cognisance of the rocket attacks on the military bases was taken. Commander Robertson said, ‘The United States will never tolerate attacks on the military bases of the United States and its allies. Also, the United States reserves the right to take retaliatory action,’ as he indicated possible action against Iran and its affiliated groups.
The military analysts claimed that the make and the range of the rockets suggested the attacks were carried out by none other than Iran. A senior Iranian official had claimed that they were ready to strike 21 US military bases and could launch 21,000 rockets a day. Moreover, in the next few hours, the US intelligence had confirmed that Iran’s missiles were aimed at the US bases, Saudi Arabia and Israel.
Under the scenario, tensions in the region have escalated due to the rocket assault on US military bases and forces in Iraq. The United States had previously made massive military deployments in the Middle East. Given the situation, if the United States or its allies decide to retaliate against the Iranian aggression, a significant conflict may flareup in the Middle East.
Meanwhile, the United States embassy in Iraq has warned its citizens to exhibit caution. The US Ambassador expressed concerns over the US citizens possibly being targeted under the guise of the ongoing protests in Iraq.