Norwegian soldiers safe after rocket attacks on airbase in Iraq

Ain al-Asad airbase - IraqPhoto: AP Photo / Nasser Nasser, File

According to US forces, ten rockets have hit an airbase in Iraq, where Norwegian soldiers are stationed. The Armed Forces have stated that the Norwegians are safe.

On Wednesday, there were several unconfirmed reports on social media about the rocket attack on the Ain al-Asad base in the Anbar province in western Iraq. 

The Armed Forces’ operational headquarters (FOH) confirmed the rocket attack to news bureau NTB.

“We have been notified that all Norwegians have been accounted for and in good condition,” Press Officer and Major Elisabeth Eikeland at the Armed Forces’ operational headquarters (FOH) told NTB on Wednesday morning.

She said that the force went into cover at 5:32 Norwegian time, before they were told that the coast was clear at 6:00. There are about 30 Norwegian soldiers at the base today, FOH stated.

Papal visit

The news agency Reuters initially cited unnamed security sources confirming that several rockets hit the airbase. 

The US-led coalition spokesman later told the AP and AFP news agencies that at least ten rockets were fired at the base. 

They have not received any information about the injured or dead in the attack, which takes place just two days before the pope is to visit Iraq.

Norwegian soldiers have been stationed at the drone base Ain al-Asad, located 200 kilometers from the border with Syria, since 2017. They participate in the US-led coalition against ISIS.

New contingent

According to the Armed Forces, a new contingent of Norwegian soldiers arrived at the base in February, where the mission is to contribute with guard and security duties. 

In January last year, Iran carried out a major missile attack on the base in response to the US assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad five days earlier. 

According to the US Department of Defense, more than 100 soldiers suffered minor injuries as a result of the attack.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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1 Comment on "Norwegian soldiers safe after rocket attacks on airbase in Iraq"

  1. Does the Iraqi government *want* Norwegian soldiers in Iraq?

    According to a January 2020 report, “The Iraqi national assembly reacted [to our killing of the Iranian general] by voting to throw all international forces out of the country, including the anti-IS operations.”

    Islamic State was created by Sunni (not Iranian/Shiite) Muslim fundamentalists and the usual suspects in the Mideast and the West to be so terrible as to justify us keeping our troops in there. It is time this evil charade is stopped and all our servicepeople are pulled out of the danger they are in there.

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