HomeGlobal Defence UpdatesIran-backed militants launch ballistic missiles at US airbase in Iraq, several injured

Iran-backed militants launch ballistic missiles at US airbase in Iraq, several injured

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Several US personnel were wounded after Iran-backed militants in Western Iraq launched multiple rockets and ballistic missiles on Saturday (local time) targeting Washington’s al-Assad Airbase in Western Iraq, said US Central Command.

CENTCOM said that several US personnel are undergoing evaluation for “traumatic brain injuries” and at least one Iraqi service member was wounded in the attack.

“At approximately 6:30 pm (Baghdad time) time Jan. 20, multiple ballistic missiles and rockets were launched by Iranian-backed militants in Western Iraq targeting al-Assad Airbase. Most of the missiles were intercepted by the base’s air defense systems while others impacted on the base. Damage assessments are ongoing. A number of US personnel are undergoing evaluation for traumatic brain injuries. At least one Iraqi service member was wounded,” the US Central Command informed on social media platform X.

Earlier on Saturday, the US conducted airstrikes against a Houthi anti-ship missile that was aimed into the Gulf of Aden and was prepared to launch, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said.

Washington said its forces determined the missile presented a threat to merchant vessels and US Navy ships in the region and therefore struck and destroyed the missile in ‘self-defence’.

Recently, the US carried out another round of attack against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, destroying three anti-ship missiles in the Red Sea.The White House confirmed in a statement that this was the fourth preemptive action taken by the US military amid boiling tensions in the Red Sea.Notably, the US redesignated the Yemeni group as a “terrorist” organisation in response to its continuing attacks and threats to shipping and imposed sanctions on it. The designation does not go into effect for 30 days.

The Houthis said the designation will not affect its operations to prevent Israeli ships or vessels heading to Israel from crossing the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait.

The Houthis, who support the Palestinian armed group Hamas, launched their attacks in response to Israel’s war on Gaza. Their strikes have slowed trade between Asia and Europe and alarmed major world powers, Al Jazeera reported.

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