New drone attack against US troops in Iraq

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - ARBIL (Iraq), Dec 26 — A drone attack yesterday targeted a military base in northern Iraq used by US and anti-jihadist coalition forces, US and Iraqi officials said, in the latest such incident.

The number of attacks targeting the coalition, which deployed troops to Iraq to fight the Islamic State group, has surged since the start of the Israel-Hamas war on October 7.

In Monday’s incident a drone was launched towards a base close to Arbil airport, in Iraqi Kurdistan, Yehia Rasool, the Iraqi prime minister’s spokesman for military affairs, said in a statement.

The attack caused injuries, Rasool said, without giving further details.

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A US military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed to AFP that a drone attack was launched “at US and coalition forces” at the airbase, adding “we are still awaiting injury and damage assessments (if any)”.

Not long after the drone attack, Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed to have launched a drone against another base, close to Harir which is northeast of Arbil.

That base is also home to US and coalition forces.

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Islamic Resistance in Iraq is a loose formation of armed groups affiliated with the Hashed al-Shaabi coalition of former paramilitaries that are now integrated into Iraq’s regular armed forces.

A tally by US military officials has counted 103 attacks against its troops in Iraq and Syria since October 17.

The majority of those attacks have been claimed by Islamic Resistance in Iraq, which opposes US support for Israel in its war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

In early December, the US embassy in Baghdad was targeted with rocket fire. That attack, the first of its kind since the start of the war in Gaza, was not claimed by any group.

The office of Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani announced several arrests and said some had links to the security services.

Washington has around 2,500 soldiers deployed in Iraq and about 900 in Syria. The international coalition has been fighting the Islamic State group since 2014. — AFP

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