Drone blast hits Iraq airport in new tactic against US troops - GulfToday

Drone blast hits Iraq airport in new tactic against US troops


A US-led international coalition has been in Iraq since 2014 to help local forces fight the Daesh militant group.

Gulf Today Report

An explosives-packed drone slammed into Iraq's Arbil airport on Wednesday in the first reported use of such a weapon against a base used by US-led coalition troops in the country, with no immediate reports of casualties, officials said on Thursday.

According to Kurdish officials a drone dropped explosives near US forces stationed at Erbil airport in northern Iraq late on Wednesday.

It was the first known attack carried out by an unmanned aerial drone against US forces in Erbil, amid a steady stream of rocket attacks on bases hosting US forces and the embassy in Baghdad that Washington blames on Iran-backed militias.


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There were no casualties in the strike on the capital of northern Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region late Wednesday, although it did cause damage to a building in the military part of the airport.

It comes after around 20 bomb and rocket attacks blamed on pro-Iran Shiite armed groups against facilities used by coalition troops or diplomats in Iraq since US President Joe Biden took office in January.

US President Joe Biden speaks during an event. File photo

Shortly before Wednesday's attack in Erbil, at least two rockets landed on and near a base to the west of the city that hosts Turkish forces, Iraqi security officials said. That attack killed a Turkish soldier, Ankara said.

A rocket hit a base belonging to an Iraqi Shi'ite Muslim militia group near that Turkish base a few hours later, a security official said, wounding at least one fighter. It was not immediately clear who had fired the rocket.

The attacks have mostly been claimed by shadowy Shiite armed groups aligned with Iran who are demanding that the Biden administration set a pullout date for Iraq as it has for Afghanistan.

"A drone packed with TNT targeted a coalition base at Arbil airport," the Kurdish region's interior ministry said in a statement.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which caused an explosion heard across Arbil.

But a shadowy pro-Iranian group calling itself Awliyaa al-Dam (Guardians of Blood), which claimed responsibility for a previous attack on the same airport in February, hailed the strike on the messaging app Telegram.

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