Syrian and Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops attacked on anniversary of Soleimani strike; none killed

A previously unknown group took responsibility for one attack and vowed to continue attacking until U.S. forces fully withdraw.

Updated: January 5, 2022 - 10:03pm

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Bases housing U.S. forces across Iraq and Syria were attacked Wednesday as part of a series of assaults that began Monday on the two-year anniversary of the American airstrike that killed Iranian general Qassim Soleimani. No Americans were killed in the Wednesday strikes, according to reports.

Two armed drones heading toward a Baghdad facility with U.S. advisors were shot down Monday. The following day, two more armed drones were "destroyed" after they targeted an Iraqui military base with U.S. troops, The Associated Press (AP) reports. 

Wednesday's attacks targeted two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. service members near Anbar province and Baghdad. U.S.-led coalition troops were forced to take shelter due to the barrage in Anbarm, AP stated. In Syria, eight rounds caused minor damage to a base housing Syrian forces backed by the U.S. No casualties have been reported. 

The U.S. led-coalition in Syria on Tuesday took out several rocket launching sites that officials believed would be used to attack U.S. troops, AP stated. The Pentagon would not state what group would use the sites, but spokesman John Kirby said, "these kinds of attacks are very much in keeping with the kind of attacks we’ve seen from Iran-backed militias in Iraq and in Syria, and so obviously our working-level assumption is that such groups were responsible for these."

Later, Qassem al-Jabaryn, a previously unknown Iraqi group, claimed responsibility for the attack in Anbar province. They reportedly vowed to continue attacking until U.S. forces fully withdraw.

Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad in 2020. His death sparked Iranian-backed militias in Iraq to become increasingly active.