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Iraq attack: White House says ‘we will take action’ if necessary after US air base hit

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On Wednesday, 10 rockets hit a base which hosted US-led coalition forces in western Iraq. According to the US Department of Defense, a US civilian contractor died after suffering a heart attack while sheltering from the strike.

Last month, a similar incident in northern Iraq took place resulting in the death of a Filipino contractor and injury of a US service member.

Washington blamed the attack on Iran-backed Shia Militias and undertook its own air strikes on one of their facilities in Syria in retaliation.

US President Joe Biden said the strikes by his administration were used as a warning to Iran and its proxies.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, said the US could possibly conduct a similar response to Wednesday’s attack in Iraq.

Speaking at a White House press briefing, Ms Psaki said: “We are still assessing the impact of this latest rocket attack including determining precise attribution, of course, they just happened over the course of last night.

“We responded to recent Iranian-backed attacks on coalition and US forces in a manner that was calculated, proportionate and fully covered by legal authorities.

“That will be our model moving forward.”

Ms Psaki added: “If we assess a further response is warranted, we will take action, again, in a manner and time of our choosing.

“And we reserve that option.”

READ MORE: US airbase hit by ’13 rockets’ – just days before Pope visits Iraq

The US strikes in Syria last week were in response to attacks at its bases in Iraq and was the first known American military action under Mr Biden’s new administration.

One group hit by the American strikes, the Iran-backed militia Kata’ib Hezbollah, said in a statement that it has the right to retaliate to the “barbaric aggression” that left one of its fighters dead.

Before Wednesday’s attack, US officials had hoped the strikes in Syria would end attacks on coalition forces.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said: “One of the things we were certainly hoping to achieve as a result of that strike was to deter future attacks by militia groups on our people, our facilities and our Iraqi partners, and we certainly hope that it has that effect.”



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