US Contractor Killed, Several Troops Wounded in Iraq Rocket Attack

Unclear who is responsible for rocket strikes

A US civilian contractor was killed, and several US soldiers were wounded on Friday when a salvo of about a dozen rockets hit an Iraqi military base near Kirkuk. Iraqi soldiers were also reported wounded in the incident.

It’s unclear who was behind the attack, though there is substantial speculation. The strike targeted a storage facility at the base, and officials have previously blamed ISIS for recent attacks in the area.

In addition to ISIS as a potential culprit, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened retaliation against Iran if it turns out Iran was responsible. There is no reason to believe that, and it would be unusual indeed if Iran was attacking an Iraqi military base, as they are allies.

Israeli military officials have also bragged recently about attacks inside Iraq targeting Iranian weapons. Since the strike hit a storage facility on an Iraqi base, it is conceivable this could be an Israeli strike.

Israeli attacks on Iraqi military bases are always possible, but it is unlikely that the US would recognize them as having caused US casualties, and even if they did, it’s even less likely they’d do anything about it.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.