In Brief

British soldier killed in Iraq: what happened?

Base north of Baghdad hit by 18 Katyusha rockets in deadly attack

A British soldier is among three people who have died in a rocket attack on a military base in Iraq - the first British serviceperson killed by enemy fire since the UK joined the operation against Islamic State in 2014.

An American soldier and an American contractor were also killed, and at least 12 people were injured, in the attack on Wednesday on Camp Taji, north of Baghdad.

Coalition and Iraqi officials say 18 Katyusha rockets struck the base, with a “rocket-rigged truck” later discovered a few miles away, reports Sky News.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has described the attack as “deplorable”, while Defence Secretary Ben Wallace condemned the “cowardly and retrograde act”.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said that an investigation was under way.

CNN reports that the US will also “go after the perpetrators”, citing an unnamed defence official who said that Iranian-backed fighters or Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corp were believed to be responsible.

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There here have been multiple rocket attacks in Iraq in recent weeks, but Wednesday’s incident was the first to result in a coalition death since December, when a US contractor was killed. 

However, tension has been high since the US killed senior Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike in January.

A retaliatory Iranian strike on a base hosting US troops left more than 100 soldiers injured.

A total of four British service personnel have now died while taking part in Operation Shader, the UK’s military operation against Isis in Iraq and Syria.

The previous three fatalities - in Iraq, at a Royal Air Force base in Cyprus, and in Syria - were the results of an accidental shooting, a traffic accident and so-called friendly fire respectively.

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