The U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State forces announced Sunday it has “paused” its activities training local forces in the wake of rocket attacks in Iraq.
Iraqi Security Forces personnel and a U.S. civilian have been killed in Baghdad in thirteen rocket strikes over the past two months, according to Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF- OIR) — the headquarters responsible for overseeing U.S. and coalition efforts against the Islamic State.
“As a result we are now fully committed to protecting the Iraqi bases that host Coalition troops. This has limited our capacity to conduct training with partners and to support their operations against Daesh [IS] and we have therefore paused these activities, subject to continuous review,” CJTF-OIR wrote in a press release Sunday.
The United States has conducted airstrikes to target Kataeb Hezbollah weapons storage facilities of Iranian-backed militia in Iraq and Syria.
U.S. officials said strikes which killed 25 Iraqis in late December were in response to a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base days earlier which killed a U.S. defense contractor. Officials said the evidence left no doubt Kataeb Hezbollah was responsible.