U.S. Army Soldiers of the 108th Sustainment Brigade, Task Force Lincoln, Team Blackhawks, Illinois National Guard, conduct movement to a range at Camp Taji, Iraq, Feb. 7, 2020. Soldiers completed training designed to increase their warfighting abilities. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Capt. Richard Wharton)
This article was originally published on March 12, 2020, by the Department of Defense.
Two U.S. service members and a British soldier were killed and 14 others were wounded when an Iranian-backed Shia militia group in Iraq launched an attack against Camp Taji yesterday, DOD officials said Thursday.
Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper said officials in Iraq know who launched the attack and that group will not escape justice. Esper spoke during a Pentagon news gaggle Thursday morning.
The attack follows an action near Kirkuk earlier this week that killed two Marine Raiders.
“Let me be clear, the United States will not tolerate attacks against our people, our interests, or our allies.”
Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, provided more details saying the group launched about thirty 107 mm rockets against the Iraqi training base. Up to 18 hit the area housing coalition forces who are involved in the mission to train, advise and assist.
“We have pretty good confidence we know who did this,” Milley said. “We were able to capture the truck. [It] was a modified truck with rocket tubes on the back.”
Milley said Iraqi security forces did a good job finding and securing the truck. Through forensics, coalition officials were able to pinpoint the location where the rockets were launched.
Both Esper and Milley are in consultation with their British counterparts as to the next steps.
“Let me be clear, the United States will not tolerate attacks against our people, our interests, or our allies,” Esper said. “All options are on the table as we work with our partners to bring the perpetrators to justice and maintain deterrence. As we’ve demonstrated, in recent months, we will take any action necessary to protect our forces in Iraq and the region.”
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