Ongoing Missile Attacks in Iraq: Targeting Foreign Troops and Exposing EU Absenteeism

REPORT AT A GLANCE

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Since the end of October 2019, a series of more than 25 different missile and rocket attacks have taken place on Iraqi military bases that host foreign troops around the country. None of these attacks have been claimed by any group, but US-intelligence services[1] have traced back many of the attacks to Kata’ib Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed militia that has been formally recognized as a terrorist group by the United States.[2] Future attacks on Iraqi bases hosting foreign troops could be foreseen, particularly as military personnel are being transferred around the country to adapt to these threats as well as improve the capacity of the Iraqi military forces.

 

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KEY TAKEAWAYS

 >  Iraqi military bases hosting foreign troops have been repeatedly targeted over the last several months, with little-to-no response from the European Union.

 

 >  Consolidation of foreign troops onto fewer military bases could have future implications on the susceptibility of these military bases to missile and rocket attacks

 

 >  The role of the European Union remains unseen. Its failure to respond to most of these attacks exemplifies a disconnect in the military operations of Member States and the political decisions at the EU level.

 

 >  The safety of military personnel must be continually re-evaluated as the dynamics between the US and Iran impact the security of foreign military personnel in Iraq.