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Iran attacks U.S.-Iraqi bases
January 9, 2020 -
Iraq’s military said that Iran launched 22 missiles on the Ain al-Asad air base that houses U.S.-led coalition troops in the western Anbar province and a facility in the Iraqi Kurdish capital Erbil, causing no casualties.
Two of the 17 missiles targeting Ain al-Asad failed to explode, it said in a statement. The five on Erbil all targeted coalition headquarters. There were no casualties among Iraqi forces, the military said.
U.S. forces first used Ain al-Asad air base after the 2003 invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein. Assad air base -- also known as Camp Cupcake because of air-conditioned tents, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and swimming pools -- currently houses about 1,500 U.S. and coalition forces. U.S. troops at the base are training Iraqi security forces.
In 2015, Iraqi security forces repelled an attack by the so-called Islamic State group. U.S. President Donald Trump made an unexpected visit to the base on Christmas Day 2018.
The National Security Agency warned the White House three hours before the Iranian counterstrike in retaliation to the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani.
The early warning helps explain in part why the missiles exacted a negligible toll, destroying only evacuated aircraft hangars as they slammed into the desert sand in barren stretches of the base. No Americans or Iraqis were killed or wounded.
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