U.S. reinforce military bases in Iraq with air defensive systems

IRAQ – Due to the recent attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq by Iran and Iranian-backed factions, international coalition forces installed defense systems on three of their bases in preparation of potential new attacks. Several U.S. officials reported Patriot missile systems and two other short-range missile systems had been installed at Ain al-Assad military base as well as at the military base in Erbil. In addition, a short-range missile defense system had been installed in Taji camp.

After the Iranian missile attacks last January, questions were raised about the lack of air defense systems in Ain al-Assad base, which houses the U.S. forces in Iraq. Negotiations with the Iraqi leaders took some time to determine which defense systems could be transferred to Iraq. U.S. Army General Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that because of this threat, hundreds of soldiers are going to remain in Iraq and only one battalion has been allowed to return home because the situation with Shia militias and Iran has not been fully stabilized. Milly said that “they will continue their mission until the time we assure the threat has subsided.”