Isis suicide bombers attack Iraqi air base with over 300 US Marines and detonate vests

No US or Iraqi troops were injured but Pentagon says most Isis fighters were killed

Heather Saul
Saturday 14 February 2015 09:41 GMT
An Isis propaganda video purporting to show fighters near the Iraqi city of Tikrit
An Isis propaganda video purporting to show fighters near the Iraqi city of Tikrit (AFP/Getty)

Isis fighters and suicide bombers attacked a US air base where over 300 Marines are training Iraqi troops, some of whom managed to detonate their vests.

Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, told reporters between 20 and 25 militants were involved in the attack on the Ain al-Asad base in Anbar province but were repelled by Iraqi security forces guarding the perimeter.

Kirby said the militants were dressed in Iraqi uniforms when they launched their attack. Most of the fighters were killed, he said, but no US or Iraqi troops were injured in the assault.

"Early indications are that yes, some of them did detonate their vests, detonate themselves," he said. "And then they were followed by roughly something on the order of 15 or so other fighters."

The Pentagon said initial assessments showed militants had captured the western Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi, which is just five miles away from the US base.

On Friday it emerged that there had been reports of “ineffective indirect fire in the vicinity of the base”, but the Pentagon stressed there had been no direct attacks.

Kirby was keen to put perspective on the attack, saying it represented “the first time in at least a couple of months, if not more, where they have had any success in taking any new ground”.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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