Rockets land outside base housing US contractors in Iraq

Rockets land outside base housing US contractors in Iraq
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Two rockets landed on Sunday in a rural area just outside an Iraqi military air base where some U.S. contractors were situated. No casualties were reported.

According to Iraqi security officials cited by Reuters, the rockets touched down outside a fence near the air base.

Initial investigations found that the rocket targeted Balad air base, Reuters reported, but fell short and hit the village of al-Bu Asi, southeast of Baghdad.

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The last attack on Balad air base, according to Reuters, was on March 15, when at least five rockets landed on the base.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, the wire service reported.

Iraqi officials said that armed groups backed by Iran have claimed responsibility for similar occurrences in the past, Reuters noted.

Last month, a base housing U.S.-led coalition troops in Iraq was hit by at least 10 rockets. No U.S. service members were killed in the attack, but a U.S. contractor suffered a heart attack, and later died.

Following the incident the White House said it was considering a military response to the attack.

“We’re identifying who’s responsible and we’ll make judgments,” President BidenJoe BidenBiden and Harris host 'family' Hanukkah celebration with more than 150 guests Symone Sanders to leave the White House at the end of the year Overnight Defense & National Security — Senate looks to break defense bill stalemate MORE told reporters.

Days later, Defense Secretary Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinRubio blocks quick votes on stalemated defense bill Overnight Defense & National Security — Senate looks to break defense bill stalemate Oversight GOP eyes records on Afghanistan withdrawal MORE said the U.S. will deliver a “thoughtful” and “appropriate” response for the attack.

“We're still developing the intelligence. We're encouraging the Iraqis to move as fast as they can to investigate the incident and they are doing that. But you can expect that we will always hold people accountable for their acts,” Austin said at the time on ABC’s “This Week.”

“We want to make sure that again, we understand who’s responsible for this," Austin added. "The message to those who would carry out such an attack is you know expect us to do what’s necessary to defend ourselves.”