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In the last 24 hours, US military bases in Iraq and Syria have been hit by rocket and explosive drone attacks, marking a resumption of hostilities after nearly three months of calm. 

Iraqi security sources and US officials reported that an armed drone struck the Ain al-Asad air base in Iraq’s Anbar province, which houses US troops. This incident was preceded by an attack involving five rockets aimed at US forces stationed at the Rumalyn base in northeastern Syria, according to officials from both nations.

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Despite these attacks, there were no reports of casualties or significant damage. The attacks come after a notable pause in attacks targeting US forces in the region. Back in January, three US soldiers were killed in Jordan following a drone attack. This led to significant retaliatory strikes by the US and pressure from Iraqi and Iranian authorities to get the groups to stop attacks. The attacks were often claimed by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq—a coalition of Iran-backed Shi’ite Muslim armed groups. According to these groups, the attacks were in retaliation for US support for Israel in Gaza.

This uptick in attacks comes as Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani attempts to strengthen US-Iraqi ties amid rising regional tensions, following his recent meeting with President Joe Biden in the United States. The US currently has approximately 2,500 troops in Iraq and 900 in Syria, engaged primarily in advisory roles to support local forces.

Digging Deeper:
The attacks follow a large explosion on Saturday at another military base in Iraq, killing one member of an Iraqi security force that includes groups backed by Iran. The incident is under investigation, with conflicting reports about whether it was an attack or an accident (there has been some speculation that something may have ignited a weapons storage unit). The US and Israel have denied any involvement and have pushed back on some claims that they carried out airstrikes. 


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