Drones approaching US troops in Iraq shot down

Parts of the wreckage of a drone lie on the ground at Baghdad airport.
International Coalition via AP

Two armed drones approaching U.S. troops in Iraq were shot down on Monday, Reuters reported.

The drones were approaching a military base housing U.S. troops, the outlet reported, citing U.S. and Iraqi security officials.

An official of the U.S.-led international military coalition told the outlet that the base’s defense system engaged “two fixed-wing suicide drones. They were shot down without incident.”

“This was a dangerous attack on a civilian airport,” the official told the outlet.

No one was hurt in the incident.

An official from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad confirmed to The Hill that two “armed unmanned aerial systems were in the vicinity of the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center earlier today.” 

The official said an investigation is underway. 

The incident comes on the second anniversary of the assassination of Iran’s top general, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani. 

Soleimani was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad that struck his convoy and was ordered by then-President Trump.

Thousands gathered in Baghdad on Saturday to mark the anniversary of his death, which greatly exacerbated tensions between the United States and Iran.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the drones. But footage of the drones provided to the outlet by the international coalition showed debris with writing that said “Soleimani’s revenge.”  

The U.S.-led coalition ended its combat mission fighting ISIS in Iraq in early December. However, about 2,500 troops are still in the country to advise and assist Iraqi security forces.

—Updated at 5:24 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump drones Iraq ISIS Soleimani killing U.S.-Iran relations

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