5 missiles hit an Iraqi base housing US troops; no casualties

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BAGHDAD (AP) — At least five missiles hit a large Iraqi army base housing U.S. troops in the country’s western desert on Monday, two Iraqi security officials said.

Officials said the Grad missiles struck inside the Ain al-Asad base in Iraq’s western Anbar province and caused minor damage but no casualties.

Officials said the missiles hit only a few meters (yards) from where US forces are stationed. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to brief the media.

The culprits were not immediately known, but the United States has previously accused Iranian-backed Iraqi militias of targeting the American presence in Iraq, including the American embassy in Baghdad.

Attacks used to be frequent, but have declined in recent months.

In March, Iran attacked the city of Erbil in northern Iraq with a dozen ballistic missiles, saying it was targeting Israeli spy centers. Iraq later said an investigation found there was no Israeli presence in the areas. The attack was also seen as a warning to the United States, a staunch ally of Israel.

US-led coalition forces recently ended their combat mission in Iraq, but continue to play an advisory role to Iraqi forces in the fight against the extremist group Islamic State.

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