Coalition forces targeted by 'suicide drones' in Baghdad on second anniversary of Soleimani assassination
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – US-led anti-ISIS coalition personnel were targeted by two suicide drones near Baghdad airport early Monday.
A counter rocket, artillery, and mortar (C-RAM) system shot down the drones preventing any "incident," an anonymous coalition source told AFP.
The attack took place on the second anniversary of the assassination of top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani and his Iraqi comrade Abu Mahdi al-Mohandis. Its timing does not appear coincidental since, as photos provided by the coalition to AFP show, remnants of the drones had "commanders' revenge operations" written on them.
Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
The drones' target was the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center inside Baghdad International Airport. The center houses "a very small number of coalition troops who are not in a combat role," AFP noted.
This is the first such attack targeting coalition troops in Iraq since the official conclusion of their combat mission.
In late December, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi announced that the coalition's combat mission in Iraq is officially over. Coalition troops in the country are only there to advise and train Iraqi and Kurdish forces.
Soleimani and Muhandis were killed in a US drone strike on Jan. 3, 2020, leaving Baghdad airport.
On Sunday evening, the supporters of Hashd al-Shaabi held a candle-lit vigil at the site of the strike to mark the second anniversary of their deaths.