Three rockets slammed into the Ain al-Asad airbase in Iraq’s Anbar Province, the base housing US troops in Iraq, on Monday afternoon causing no deaths or injuries, Colonel Wayne Marotto, spokesman for the US-led military coalition, informed adding that damage to the base was still being assessed.
Several hours later, American air defenses shot down an explosives-laden drone as it neared the US Embassy in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, Iraqi security sources said, adding that the armed drone didn’t reach the embassy complex.
This was the 47th attack on American forces in Iraq so far in 2021, six of them involving drones, with unverified photos showing the remains of a small quad-copter used in the last attack.
Ain al-Asad base has come under attack repeatedly over the years, with an armed drone targeting the installation last May and Iranian ballistic missiles that has hit the vase in January 2020, inflicting brain injuries on several US troops.
Unconfirmed footage has circulated online showing the shootdown as well as strings of glowing tracer rounds over the loud rumble of exploding munitions from the American C-RAM defense systems, which appeared to fire off several volleys.
No one has claimed responsibility of the attack and Washington still hasn’t blamed anyone though the usual suspects are Hashd al-Shaabi, or the Popular Mobilization Forces, Iran-backed Shia militia groups operating across Iraq and Syria.
The facilities of Kata’ib Hezbollah and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria, were target of a series of strikes last month ordered by President Biden, who claimed the move was meant as a “deterrent” against future attacks.
Yet, Baghdad condemned the operation calling it a blatant and unacceptable violation of its national sovereignty.