What Happened: Unidentified assailants attacked a compound in Basra province that houses workers for major petroleum companies like ExxonMobil, Shell and Eni with a Katyusha rocket, injuring three Iraqis, Bloomberg reported June 19.
Why It Matters: Given that the attack marks the third in 36 hours to occur close to sites housing U.S. soldiers or energy companies in Iraq, Washington is almost certain to use the incident to ramp up its pressure on Iran amid the two countries' standoff. At this stage, however, the United States has not assigned blame for the attacks, and no one has claimed responsibility for the incident.
Background: In the wake of two attacks on tankers near the Strait of Hormuz last week that the United States has accused Iran of committing, Tehran appears to be retaliating against U.S. sanctions by targeting U.S. assets in the region.
- Iran Decides Its Best Defense Is Bravado (June 14, 2019)
- Strait of Hormuz: An Attack on Oil Tankers Threatens to Deepen the U.S.-Iran Standoff (June 13, 2019)
- The Factors That Could Push the U.S. and Iran to War (June 12, 2019)