Baghdad (Associated Press)-A coalition official said that on Tuesday, two drones carrying explosives were aimed at an Iraqi military base in western Anbar province where US troops are stationed.
This is the second attempted attack of this kind, which coincides with the anniversary of the killing of a senior Iranian general near Baghdad Airport in 2020 by a U.S. air strike. On Monday, two armed drones were shot down while heading to the facility of the American consultant at Baghdad Airport.
According to the official, the fixed-wing drone loaded with explosives was destroyed by the defensive capabilities of Al Ain Assad Air Force Base. A statement from the Iraqi military confirmed the attempted attack, stating that the drone was shot down outside the air base. The base is a U.S.-led international coalition garrison, fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq.
In Monday’s attack, the drone was shot down by the C-RAM defense system that protects US facilities in Iraq. There are currently no reports of damage or injuries caused by this incident. According to coalition forces and Iraqi officials, although the words “Soleimani’s Revenge” were written on one of the drone’s wings, no organization claimed responsibility for the attack.
The coalition official said: “These are attacks on Iraqi facilities, but also attacks on the Iraqi people and the army that protects them. We keep our footprints in Iraqi bases to a minimum.”
“The coalition no longer has its own base in Iraq,” the official added, requesting anonymity under the regulations.
The 2020 U.S. drone attack on Baghdad Airport caused General Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Army, and Abu Mahdi Mohan, deputy commander of the “People’s Mobilization Force”, an Iraqi militia supported by Iran Diss was killed.
Iraq’s pro-Iranian Shi’ite faction vowed to avenge the killing and set the condition for ending the attack on the United States in Iraq as the full withdrawal of US troops from the country.
Last month, the coalition forces headed by the United States formally ended the combat mission of supporting the Iraqi army against the Islamic State group. As the coalition turns to advisory missions to continue to support the Iraqi army, approximately 2,500 soldiers will be retained.
“Although we have ended our combat mission, we retain our inherent right of self-defense,” the coalition official said on Tuesday.
Associated Press writer Zeina Karam from Beirut contributed reporting to this article.