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Two drone attacks in Iraq target global coalition — official

By AFP - Nov 10,2023 - Last updated at Nov 10,2023

ERBIL, Iraq — Two drone attacks targeted a military airport where troops of the US-led anti-extremist coalition are based, authorities in the autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan said on Thursday.

There were no injuries, the local authorities said.

Since October 17, US and coalition forces in Iraq and Syria have been targeted by drone or rocket attacks at least 40 times, injuring dozens of US personnel, according to an updated tally given by a US official.

Such attacks come after the Israel-Hamas war which began on October 7.

Overnight Wednesday-Thursday “two drones attacked” the coalition’s base at Harir airport in Erbil province, said a statement from the counterterrorism services in Iraqi Kurdistan, in northern Iraq.

The attacks came around midnight, it said, without specifying whether the drones had been shot down. Photos accompanying the statement showed metallic debris on the ground.

Most of the attacks — including the latest ones — have been claimed by a group known as “Islamic Resistance in Iraq”, according to Telegram channels affiliated with Iraqi factions close to Tehran.

Around 2,500 American troops are deployed in Iraq and another 900 in Syria, as part of the international anti-extremist coalition that was established in 2014.

In Iraq, the coalition says its role is limited to advising and supporting local counterparts.

In a visit to Baghdad on Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the attacks, which Washington has linked back to Iran, were “totally unacceptable”.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani, who was appointed by pro-Iran parties, has condemned the attacks and promised investigations to uncover the perpetrators.

On Wednesday US warplanes carried out a strike on an Iran-linked weapons storage facility in eastern Syria, in response to attacks against American personnel, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said.

 

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