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Western troops in Iraq targeted in drone attack claimed by pro-Iran group

By AFP - Dec 07,2023 - Last updated at Dec 07,2023

BAGHDAD — A drone targeted Western troops at a military base in Iraq on Wednesday, a US military official said, in an attack claimed by a pro-Iran militant group.

"A one-way attack drone was launched against US and Coalition forces at [Ain] Al Asad Airbase" in western Iraq, the official who spoke on condition of anonymity told AFP, adding it caused no causalities or damage.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed the attack. The pro-Iran group has been carrying out its attacks in response to the United States' support for Israel in its nearly two-month war with Hamas.

After the end of a seven-day pause in the Israeli war on Gaza last week, pro-Iran groups resumed their drone and rocket attacks on US forces and their allies deployed in an international anti-extremist coalition in Iraq and Syria.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, which has claimed responsibility for dozens of attacks on US forces, is a loose alliance of armed groups affiliated with Hashed Al Shaabi, the coalition of former paramilitaries integrated into Iraq's regular armed forces.

In retaliation for the attacks, the United States said several strikes were conducted against pro-Iran fighters in Iraq.

The US military said on Sunday it launched a “self-defence” strike against pro-Iranian militants in the northern province of Kirkuk, killing five of them.

US Central Command said the militants had been preparing an attack against coalition forces.

In total, Washington has counted at least 78 attacks since October 17 against its forces in Iraq and Syria, 10 days after the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, triggered by the Palestinian militant group’s unprecedented attack on Israeli soil.

A day before the strike in Kirkuk, during a phone call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani said his country rejected “any attack targeting Iraqi territory”.

Sudani said his government was committed to protecting members of the anti-extremist coalition on Iraqi territory.

US forces have also bombed sites in Syria linked to Iran on three occasions.

 

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