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Second Attack on Camp Taji in Iraq; Baghdad Warns U.S. Not To Respond, but To Get Out

March 15, 2020 (EIRNS)—A second rocket attack on the Taji U.S.-Iraq military base in Iraq has injured three U.S. troops, two seriously, and several Iraqi troops. The daytime raid saw 33 107mm rockets launched from within a walled in facility, with the bricks taken down just before firing, with 25 hitting the target.

The Iraqi government denounced the “blatant attack” on their joint forces, but strongly demanded that the U.S. forces not respond against Kataib Hezbollah, the Iran-backed Shi’a militia which works within the Iraqi military network, as they did after the previous attack last week. “We also refuse that the American forces or others take any action without the approval of the Iraqi government and the commander in chief of the armed forces, as they did on the morning of 3/13/2020,” the government statement said. “In doing so, it does not limit these actions [terrorist attacks], but rather nurtures them, weakens the Iraqi state’s ability to provide its own security, and expects more losses for Iraqis. This necessitates the speedy implementation of the parliament’s decision on the issue of the coalition’s withdrawal.”

Kataib Hezbollah, which the U.S. blames for the attacks, and another group called Harakat al-Nujaba, called for resistance against the U.S. military presence, with KH warning that Iraqi security forces should distance themselves from the U.S. military. An Iraqi official said “the only solution for the U.S. is to implement the parliament decision and leave” because militias were likely to attack again, triggering additional American responses. “If the U.S. leaves, then Iraq will be able to deal with these groups, but with this situation, it’s chaos and undermines the state,” the official said.

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