- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 12, 2020

The Pentagon says a rocket attack that killed two U.S. service members and a British soldier in Iraq Wednesday was “most likely” carried out by Iranian-backed militants.

Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command who leads American operations in the Middle East, told a Senate panel Thursday that Kata’ib Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed paramilitary group, is believed to be the only group capable of “an indirect fire attack on this scale against U.S. coalition forces in Iraq.”

The four-star general pointed to the December rocket attack on a military base in Iraq that killed a U.S. contractor and brought the U.S. and Iran to the brink of war that was also believed to be carried out by the same militant group.

The International Coalition for Operation Inherent Resolve confirmed the attack in a tweet late Wednesday and said that more than 15 rockets were fired onto Camp Taji base, just north of Baghdad.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said shortly after that the “deadly attack on Iraq’s Camp Taji military base will not be tolerated. Raab and I agree — those responsible must be held accountable.”

On Thursday, Mr. Pompeo spoke with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab about the attack that marked the fifth deaths of coalition forces since Sunday.

In a statement released by the State Department, the foreign leaders said they “condemn all attacks against Coalition personnel supporting the Iraqi government’s efforts to defeat ISIS … [and] those responsible for the attacks must be held accountable.”

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