QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA and ALI ABDUL-HASSAN
AIN AL-ASAD BASE, Iraq (AP) — U.S. troops cleared rubble and debris from a military base housing American soldiers in western Iraq on Monday, days after it was struck by a barrage of Iranian ballistic missiles in a major escalation between the two longtime foes.
The Iranian attack was in retaliation for the U.S. drone strike near Baghdad airport that killed a top Iranian commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, prompting angry calls to avenge his slaying.
An Associated Press crew touring the Ain al-Asad base Monday saw large craters in the ground and damaged military trailers as well as forklifts lifting rubble and loading it onto trucks from a large area the size of a football stadium. U.S. soldiers inspected portable housing units