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Military

U.S. Department of Defense

March 15, 2020
News
By Jim Garamone
Defense.gov

3 U.S. Service Members Wounded in Iraq Attack

Three U.S. service members were injured in a Katuyusha rocket attack on U.S., coalition and Iraqi forces at Camp Taji, Iraq, March 13, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman said in a briefing.

Two service members were seriously injured and are being treated at the U.S. military hospital at Baghdad International Airport, he said. Iraqi forces were also wounded in the attack, Hoffman noted.

Iraqi forces have made an initial arrest, he said, and U.S. officials are investigating the attack with them.

The attack follows a March 11 rocket attack that killed three — two Americans and a British medic — and wounded 14 more. U.S. Central Command officials said that attack was launched by Iranian-backed militia Kataeb Hezbollah.

''In response to this attack on an Iraqi base that hosts coalition forces supporting the Iraqi fight against ISIS, we carried out precision defensive strikes to degrade and destroy advanced conventional weapons that have been provided to Kataeb Hezbollah by their Iranian backers,'' Centcom Commander Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie said during a Pentagon briefing Friday.

Camp Taji is about 20 miles north of Baghdad proper and is the main training base for Iraqi security forces. ''You cannot attack and wound American service members and get away with it, we will hold them to account,'' Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper said during a briefing last week.

The Katyusha rocket was developed by Soviet forces during World War II. It is generally a truck-mounted, highly mobile rocket artillery system.



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