The assault on the Ayn al Asad Airbase near the city of Ramadi in Iraq’s Anbar province comes just days after the Islamic State took control of the nearby town of al Baghdadi on the Euphrates River, less than 10 miles away. That ISIS took a town so close to the base had immediately raised fears that the terror group would try to strike at American troops.
During the U.S. war in Iraq, the base was the site of frequent attacks by what was then known as Al Qaeda in Iraq, the group that subsequently renamed itself Islamic State and declared a supposed “caliphate” last year. It is now widely known by the acronyms ISIS or ISIL.
As one Pentagon official explained to The Daily Beast, “We are all too familiar with this kind of attack.”