Pentagon: Attack on Ayn al-Asad airbase in Iraq included suicide bombers *Video*

Iraqi security forces keep watch during a tribal conference, regarding the Islamic State, at the Ain al-Assad military base in the Anbar province

Iraqi security forces keep watch during a tribal conference, regarding the Islamic State, at the Ain al-Assad military base in the Anbar province

An attack by Islamic State fighters on an air base hosting US Marines in Iraq has been defeated by the Iraqi army, the Pentagon has said.

About 25 Islamic State militants, led by several suicide bombers, attacked Ain al Asad air base in Iraq’s western Anbar province.

The Pentagon said the assault was thwarted, however, by Iraqi troops guarding the perimeter, with most of the assailants killed.

The sprawling air base is hosting more than 300 US Marines training Iraqi troops.

The base is close to the town of al-Baghdadi, which the Pentagon says is now under the control of IS fighters after fierce fighting.

Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said that US Marines were not involved in the fighting at the perimeter.

Drones and Apache helicopters were scrambled but the fighting was over by the time they arrived.

Mr Kirby said some of the suicide bombers had detonated their vests.

“It does appear now that most, if not all of them, were wearing Iraqi uniforms,” Mr Kirby said of the attackers.

Mr Kirby said US assessments indicated IS fighters were in control of al-Baghdadi. However, ongoing fighting and poor communications in the area made it difficult to confirm such reports.

Al-Baghdadi has been besieged for months by Islamic State, which captured large areas of northern and western Iraq last year.

About 320 US Marines are training members of the Iraqi 7th Division at the Ain al Asad base.

It has been struck by mortar fire on at least one previous occasion since December.

The US and its coalition partners carried out seven air strikes against IS militants in Iraq between early Thursday and early Friday.

Five of those were in the vicinity of the base.

 

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2 comments

  1. Angela Myers

    My heart goes out to those 320 Marines – don’t know as yet about their outcome at the AL ASAD Base !! Have been pleading with top officials for information on the status of those brave soldiers – isn’t their anyone out there that can give an accurate report about them ?
    I know they were surrounded by Isis back in the mid February ,2015 and that is where the news ends about them .
    Please send to me at the following email address .
    Thank you,
    Angela

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