Rocket lands near US facility in Baghdad, drones intercepted at western Iraqi airbase
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A rocket on early Sunday landed near a US State Department-run facility next to Baghdad International Airport, announced the spokesperson of the Coalition to Defeat ISIS.
He also stated that, shortly afterward, a defense system to the west of the Iraqi capital intercepted two drones at Ain al-Asad airbase, the site of regular rocket attacks where troops of the US-led Coalition are housed.
“At approx 0015 local time, the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center (BDSC) was attacked by one rocket round. The rocket impacted near the BDSC and caused no injuries or damage,” wrote Colonel Wayne Marotto.
Fifteen minutes later, the two drones were destroyed at the airbase in Anbar province, according to the military press office known as the Iraqi Security Media Cell.
Neither statement described the exact nature of the drones, such as whether they were thought to be made for observational uses only or had the capacity to carry out attacks.
The New York Times reported on Friday that there is a new and “rapidly evolving threat” to US forces in Iraq posed by Iranian-backed militias of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), also widely blamed for ongoing rockets attacks like that against the air base.
Pro-Iranian militias now have “more sophisticated weaponry, including armed drones,” the paper said. “At least three times in the past two months,” the militias have fired “small, explosive-laden drones that divebomb and crash into their targets in late-night attacks on Iraqi bases.”
The Coalition spokesperson continued, “Each attack against the GoI [Government of Iraq], KRI [Kurdistan Region of Iraq] and the Coalition undermines the authority of Iraqi institutions, the rule of law and Iraqi National sovereignty.”
Iraq and the autonomous Kurdistan Region continue to witness rocket attacks on or near various installations hosting either US diplomatic corps or Coalition forces.
The PMF routinely calls for both US diplomatic and military personnel to be removed from Iraq.
Editing by John J. Catherine