Rockets fired from Iraq target U.S. military base in Syria

Photo: CENTCOM. File photo.

At least five rockets were launched from the Iraqi town of Zummar toward a U.S. military base in northeastern Syria on Sunday, Reuters reported on Monday, citing two Iraqi security sources and a U.S. official.

This is the first such attack on U.S. forces since early February, following a hiatus in assaults by Iranian-backed groups in Iraq.

The rocket launches occurred a day after Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani concluded a visit to the United States, where he met with President Joe Biden at the White House. An affiliated Telegram group with Kataib Hezbollah stated that armed factions in Iraq had elected to resume attacks after a nearly three-month pause due to stagnant negotiations aimed at ending the U.S.-led military coalition’s presence in Iraq.

Sabreen News, another Telegram channel close to Kataib Hezbollah, later clarified that there had been no official statement from the Iran-backed faction itself.

A U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that the rockets were fired towards a coalition base in Rumalyn, Syria, but resulted in no injuries to U.S. personnel. The official described the incident as a “failed rocket attack,” although it remained unclear whether the rockets missed their target or were intercepted.

Following the attack, a U.S.-led coalition aircraft retaliated by striking the launcher. Security sources and a senior army officer in Iraq reported that a small truck equipped with a rocket launcher had been positioned in Zummar, near the Syrian border. The truck was subsequently destroyed by an airstrike, and an army officer confirmed that the wreckage was seized for further examination.

“We are communicating with coalition forces in Iraq to share information regarding this attack,” added the officer. The Iraqi Security Media Cell, responsible for security communications, announced that Iraqi forces had initiated a comprehensive search and inspection operation to apprehend the perpetrators near the Syrian border, with a commitment to bringing them to justice.

The incident follows a significant explosion at an Iraqi military base early Saturday, which resulted in the death of a member of an Iraqi security force, including Iran-backed groups. While the force commander described it as an attack, the army is still investigating, noting that there were no warplanes observed in the sky at that time.