2020 Camp Taji attacks

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2020 Camp Taji attacks
Part of 2019–20 Persian Gulf crisis
Location
TargetCombined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve
Date11 March 2020
14 March 2020
Executed byDisputed (Kata'ib Hezbollah alleged)[1]
League of Revolutionaries[2]
CasualtiesUnited States Two soldiers killed (11 March)
United Kingdom One soldier killed (11 March)
14 coalition personnel wounded (11 March)[3]
Five coalition personnel wounded (14 March)
Two Iraqi soldiers wounded (14 March)[4]

The 2020 Camp Taji attacks were rocket attacks that took place 11 March and 14 March 2020 targeting Al-Taji Camp, north of Baghdad in Baghdad Governorate, which hosts Coalition and United States Forces in Iraq (Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve).

Attacks[edit]

On 11 March 2020, 15 rockets landed on Camp Taji, killing two Americans, one soldier and one contractor,[5] and one British soldier from the Royal Army Medical Corps.[6][7] The attack left 14 other US soldiers, contractors and coalition personnel wounded, five of them critically.[3][8] One of the coalition wounded was identified as a Polish soldier.[9]

On 14 March 2020, before 11:00 AM, another rocket attack took place at Camp Taji; over 25 107mm caliber rockets struck the coalition compound and the Iraqi Air defences installation, this time wounding five coalition soldiers and two Iraqi soldiers. Iraqi forces subsequently found seven Katyushka rocket launchers with 24 unlaunched rockets.[4]

U.S. response[edit]

On 11 March, three warplanes targeted the area near the Syrian town of Al-Bukamal and Iraq's Al-Anbar province, which resulted in only material damage, with no casualties.[10] The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that 18 Iraqis were killed in al-Hassian in al-Bukamal area.[11] However, the US-led coalition denied carrying out those airstrikes in Syria.[12]

On 13 March after midnight, the U.S. launched air raids against Kata'ib Hezbollah facilities in Karbala International Airport, and other militia groups under the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Babylon.[1] The raids killed three Iraqi soldiers, two policemen and one civilian. 11 Iraqi soldiers were wounded as well as five PMF fighters.[13]

Reactions[edit]

The Iraqi military[14] and religious authorities condemned the strikes,[15] and the Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohamed Ali Alhakim, summoned the U.S. and British ambassadors over the bombing and an emergency meeting was held to determine what actions will be taken in the future. The Iraqi Joint Operations Command said that the claim that the airstrike was in response to the initial attack on the base lead "to escalation and does not provide a solution". Also, the Iraqi authorities stated that the "new U.S. air attack went against 'any partnership'”.[14] In addition, the Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran, Abbas Mousavi, said that the attacks are related to the U.S. "presence and behaviour" in Iraq.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "US launches air raids in Iraq after deadly rocket attack". Al Jazeera. 13 March 2020.
  2. ^ Caleb Weiss; Joe Truzman (15 March 2020). "Purported new Iraqi Shia group claims attacks on Camp Taji". Long War Journal. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  3. ^ a b Lolita C. Baldor (12 March 2020). "Pentagon: US Strikes Iran-backed Group That Hit Iraq Base". NBC 5 Dallas-Forth Worth. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  4. ^ a b Qassim Abdul-Zahra; Samya Kullab (14 March 2020). "Rocket Attack Near Baghdad Hits Base Housing U.S. Troops: Iraq Officials". Associated Press. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  5. ^ "UK soldier and two Americans killed in rocket attack in Iraq". BBC. 12 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Iraq: British Army medic and two US soldiers killed in 'deplorable' rocket attack on base". Sky News. 12 March 2020.
  7. ^ "UK servicewoman killed in missile attack on Iraqi base is named". The Guardian. 12 March 2020.
  8. ^ Dan Lamothe; Louisa Loveluck (11 March 2020). "U.S. and coalition troops killed in rocket attack in Iraq, potentially spiking tensions with Iran". The Washington Post.
  9. ^ "Polish soldier injured in Iraq rocket attack". The First News. 12 March 2020. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Warplanes target area near Syrian town of Al-Bukamal & Iraq's Anbar province after rocket attack on Iraq base – reports". RT. 11 March 2020.
  11. ^ "18 Iraqis killed in airstrikes on Popular Mobilization headquarters in Al-Bukamal countryside near Iraqi border". SOHR. 12 March 2020.
  12. ^ "Iraq base attack: Coalition denies strike on Iran-backed fighters in Syria". BBC. 12 March 2020.
  13. ^ a b James Rothwell; Abbie Cheeseman (13 March 2020). "Iraqi civilian among six dead in US airstrikes". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Iraq condemns U.S. air strikes, warns of consequences". Reuters. 13 March 2020.
  15. ^ "Iraqi religious authorities say U.S. air strike hit civilian airport". Reuters. 13 March 2020.