One of the officials said five service members were seriously wounded and evacuated from the Camp Taji base and seven others were still being evaluated. Buildings on the base were in flames. Several other U.S. officials confirmed that U.S. troops had been killed and injured, but did not provide numbers. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to give details of the attack ahead of a public announcement.
Camp Taji, located just north of Baghdad, has been used as a training base for a number of years. There are as many as 6,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, training and advising Iraqi forces and conducting counterterror missions.
Kataib Hezbollah was responsible for a late December rocket attack on a military base in Kirkuk that killed a U.S. contractor, prompting American military strikes in response.
That in turn led to protests at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. They were followed January 3 by a U.S. airstrike that killed Iran's most powerful military officer, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a leader of the Iran-backed militias in Iraq, of which Kataib Hezbollah is a member.
Kataib Hezbollah been designated a “foreign terrorist organization” by the State Department since 2009.
U.S. officials said the strike was not related to the Taji base strike at all. But, it was not immediately clear who conducted the attack.
Syrian activist Omar Abu Layla said the unidentified airstrike targeted Iranian militia positions in the Boukamal region.
Syrian state-run media also reported an aerial attack in the Boukamal region near the Iraqi border that caused material damage.
Associated Press writer Zeina Karam in Beirut contributed to this report.