The 320 US soldiers and Marines at Al Asad air base in western Iraq have been coming under “regular” mortar fire from insurgent forces for several weeks, Defense Department spokesman Col. Steve Warren told reporters Monday.

While Warren insisted that the attacks have been “wholly ineffective” and “no US personnel, no US equipment have been impacted in any way,” this was the first time that the Pentagon acknowledged that the 2,100 US troops in Iraq have been in danger since deploying late last year.

In addition to the Marines from a Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force training units with the Iraqi Army’s 7th Division at Al Asad, there are another 170 US soldiers from the Army’s 1st Infantry Division training another four Iraqi Army battalions near Taji, which is just northwest of Baghdad. […]