Rockets fired at US base in Syria – Reuters

American troops have reportedly been targeted in the Middle East for the first time since February amid Israel-Iran tensions

At least five rockets were fired at an American base in northeastern Syria, Reuters reported on Sunday, citing two unnamed Iraqi security officials. The projectiles were reportedly launched from the town of Zummar in northwestern Iraq. Reuters did not specify if there were any casualties. 

The Iraq-based group Kataib Hezbollah later released a statement saying that it had decided to resume attacks on US personnel. “What happened a short while ago is the beginning,” the group said, as quoted by the Jerusalem Post.

Iranian-backed militias had halted their attacks against US military installations in the region in February, after Washington launched retaliatory airstrikes on dozens of targets in Iraq and Syria. Militants launched rockets and drones against US forces in the Middle East more than 150 times between last October, when the Israel-Hamas war started, and February, capped by an attack that killed three Americans and wounded 40 others at an outpost in Jordan.

Sunday’s attack involved a rocket launcher mounted on a small truck, Reuters said. An Iraqi army officer said the truck caught fire in an explosion from unfired rockets and was apparently hit in an airstrike, possibly by US forces. The unidentified militants fled the area in another vehicle.

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Rockets fired at US base in Syria – Reuters
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The incident came one day after a fatal blast at an Iraqi military command post north of Baghdad. The explosion reportedly killed one member of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and injured eight other people. US and Israeli military officials both denied having any involvement in the blast. There were no drones or warplanes in the airspace around the command post at the time of the explosion, the Iraqi army said.

The uptick in violence followed a week in which Iran and Israel traded largely ineffective aerial attacks on each other. Iran’s April 13 drone and missile launches against Israel were retaliation for the April 1 bombing of the Iranian consulate in Syria. The consulate attack killed 16 people, including two Iranian generals and five other officers.

READ MORE: Is all-out war in the Middle East now inevitable?

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani returned home on Saturday from his trip to the US, where he met with President Joe Biden at the White House. He also made a stop in Michigan to meet with Arab American leaders.

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