Since the fall of 2019, dozens of attacks have targeted Western, especially American, military and diplomatic installations, such as the missile attack that hit, on Wednesday, an air base housing US forces in western Iraq.
An international coalition led by the United States has been working in Iraq since 2014 to help local forces combat the terrorist organization “ISIS”, and since Iraq declared its victory over the organization in 2017, the number of foreign forces has been reduced to 3,500 soldiers, including 2,500 Americans.
On December 27, 2019, more than thirty missiles fell on the Iraqi military base “K-1”, in the oil-rich region of Kirkuk, killing an American sub-contractor, and wounding a number of American and Iraqi soldiers.
Missiles have targeted areas where American soldiers and diplomats have been stationed since October, and the Americans attributed these attacks, for which no party has claimed responsibility, to pro-Iranian factions in Iraq.
On the 29th of the same month, American planes bombed several bases of the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades, one of the militia groups of the Popular Mobilization Forces, which is an alliance of paramilitary groups dominated by Iranian loyalists, and are now integrated with the Iraqi forces, and the strikes near Al-Qaim (west) killed 25 Armed loyal to Iran.
Attack on the US embassy
On December 31, thousands of Popular Mobilization militia supporters entered the Green Zone, which is subject to tight security measures in Baghdad, which includes the headquarters of the US embassy and the highest institutions in the country, to protest against the US raids, and protesters smashed the windows of the building and security facilities before leaving the area in The next day.
On January 3, 2020, the head of the Quds Force in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Qassem Soleimani, and the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Militia, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, were killed in a drone raid ordered by US President Donald Trump, near Baghdad International Airport. .
Soleimani was the commander of the “Quds Force”, the special force responsible for the external operations of the “Iranian Revolutionary Guard”, and on the eighth of the same month, Iran launched missiles at bases of the international coalition containing American soldiers in Iraq.
And the US Department of Defense (Pentagon) said that the missiles hit the Ain Al-Asad air base (west), and the Erbil base in the Kurdistan region.
A new escalation
On March 11, missile launches at Taji base north of Baghdad killed three people, two Americans and a Briton, and Washington attributed the attack to “armed groups loyal to Iran.”
In response, air strikes killed 26 members of the pro-Iranian Iraqi Special Forces on the Syrian border. Three days later, about thirty missiles targeted the Taji base again, the day after an American strike against five Hezbollah Brigades sites near Baghdad.
On its 17th, several missiles targeted the Basmaya base in southern Baghdad, where part of the Spanish coalition battalion was located, and on September 28, three children and two women from one Iraqi family were killed by a missile targeting Baghdad airport, where American soldiers are stationed.
On December 20, missiles exploded near the US embassy in Baghdad, in the third attack since a truce declared by pro-Iranian Iraqi factions in October. At least three missiles landed near the diplomatic mission, while two more hit residential areas.
On February 15, missiles fell on an air base in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, killing one person and wounding a number of Iraqis and foreigners. The attack on the Internet was claimed by an unknown group calling itself “Awliya al-Dam.”
On March 3, at least ten missiles fell on a base housing US soldiers in western Iraq, and a civilian contractor died of a heart attack as a result.
The attack came two days before the arrival of Pope Francis on the first visit by a pontiff to the country, and he kept his journey despite the attack.