Washington
21 November 2023

A Pentagon spokesperson confirmed “an attack last night by Iran-backed militias using a close-range ballistic missile against U.S. and coalition forces at al-Assad Air Base in Iraq, which resulted in several non-serious injuries and some minor damage to infrastructure”. U.S. forces responded with “a self-defence strike against an Iranian-backed militia vehicle and a number of Iranian-backed militia personnel involved in this attack. This self-defence strike resulted in some hostile fatalities”. U.S. Central Command subsequently reported having “conducted discrete, precision strikes against two facilities in Iraq… In direct response to the attacks against U.S. and Coalition forces by Iran and Iran-backed groups, including the one in Iraq on 21 November, which involved use of close-range ballistic missiles”. Kata’ib Hizbollah confirmed eight fatalities. The Iraqi government asserted that “the recent escalation in the Iraqi arena over the past two days is a dangerous development involving an unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty”.

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