WASHINGTON: Eight Islamic State fighters were killed when they attacked an air base where US and coalition forces are training Iraqi forces.
Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said that initial reports today showed that all of the IS attackers were killed by Iraqi troops at or inside a gate to al-Asad air base in the western province of Anbar.
There are about 400 US troops at the base, but Warren said none of the American forces were involved in the fighting. He said the US troops were about two miles (three kilometers) away, in a different section of the sprawling air base.
US unmanned surveillance aircraft and Army Apache attack helicopters were sent to the scene from Baghdad, but the attack was over before they arrived, so they did not engage in fighting.
There are currently nearly 2,600 US forces in Iraq. Of those, about 450 are training Iraqi troops at three bases across the country, including al-Asad. Forces from other
coalition countries conduct the training at the fourth site, in the northern city of Irbil.