Iraq crisis
Iraqi soldiers foiled an attack by IS suicide bombers on a US base.MOHAMMED SAWAF/AFP

The Iraqi army has successfully thwarted an attack by IS suicide bombers, on an air base hosting US marines in Iraq.

25 Islamic State fighters, led by several suicide bombers, attacked Ain al-Asad air base in Iraq's Western Anbar province.

The base is close to the town of al-Baghdadi, which is now under the control of IS fighters. The base is hosting US Marines who have been deployed to the region to train Iraqi military troops.

Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, confirmed that most of the assailants were killed by Iraqi soldiers guarding the perimeter in the failed attack.

US Marines were not involved in the fighting at the perimeter. Mr Kirby said some of the suicide bombers had detonated their vests. "It does appear now that most, if not all of them, were wearing Iraqi uniforms," Mr Kirby said.

Drones and Apache helicopters were scrambled, but the fighting was over by the time they arrived, Army Colonel Steve Warren added.

About 320 US Marines are training members of the Iraqi 7th Division at the Ain al-Asad base.

The base has been struck by mortar fire on at least one earlier occasion since December.

The US and its coalition partners conducted seven air strikes against IS militants in Iraq between 12 -13 February.