Photo by Farzad Frames via Shutterstock

A U.S. contractor suffered a fatal heart attack March 3 when at least 10 rockets hit base housing U.S. and coalition troops in western Iraq, the Pentagon said.

Top Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. civilian contractor “suffered a cardiac episode while sheltering and sadly passed away shortly after.” 

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The 10 rockets hit the Al Asad air base in Iraq’s Anbar province early March 3. The strike triggered the base’s Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (C-RAM) missile defense systems.

“Iraqi security forces are on scene and investigating. We cannot attribute responsibility at this time, and we do not have a complete picture of the extent of the damage. We stand by as needed to assist our Iraqi partners as they investigate,” Kirby said.

A damage assessment is underway, but no U.S. service members have been reported injured, and all members have been accounted for.

This attack came less than a week after the U.S. strike on an Iranian-backed militia along the Iraq-Syria border that resulted in one militia member’s death. That Feb. 25 strike was the U.S. military’s first known action under President Joe Biden.

The Feb. 25 strike was a response to a Feb. 16 strike on U.S.-led troops in northern Iraq, which resulted in the death of a civilian contractor and injury of a U.S. service member.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the March 3 attack yet.

Written ByHaley Weger

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