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Attack with two armed drones foiled in Iraq

BAGHDAD (AP) – Two explosives-laden drones targetting an Iraqi military base housing United States (US) troops in western Anbar province were destroyed yesterday, a coalition official said.

It was the second such attempted attack coinciding with the anniversary of the 2020 US airstrike that killed a top Iranian general near the Baghdad airport. On Monday, two armed drones were shot down as they headed toward a facility housing US advisors at Baghdad airport.

According to the official, the fixed-wing drones rigged with explosives were engaged and destroyed by defensive capabilities at the Ain al-Asad airbase. An Iraqi military statement confirmed the attempted attack, saying the drones were shot down outside the parameters of the air base. The base houses troops with the US-led international coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq.

In Monday’s attack, the drones were shot down by the C-RAM defence system that protects American installations in Iraq, and there were no reports of damage or injuries from the incident.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, although one of the wings of the drones had the words ‘Soleimani’s revenge’ painted on it, according to the coalition and Iraqi officials.

“These are attacks against Iraqi installations and an attack against the Iraqi people and the military that protects them,” the coalition official said. “We maintain a minimal footprint on Iraqi bases.”

“The coalition no longer has its own bases in Iraq,” the official added, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Parts of the wreckage of a drone are laid out on the ground near the Ain al-Asad airbase, in the western Anbar province of Iraq. PHOTO: AP
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