BAGHDAD — US forces shot down an armed drone above their embassy in Baghdad on Monday night, Iraqi security officials said, hours after a rocket attack on a base housing US soldiers in the west of the country.
American defense systems fired rockets into the air in Baghdad, according to AFP reporters, with Iraqi security sources saying the salvos took out a drone that was laden with explosives.
Since the start of the year, 47 attacks have targeted US interests in the country, where 2,500 American troops are deployed as part of an international coalition to fight the jihadist Islamic State group.
Six of them involved these kinds of drones, a tactic that poses a headache for the coalition as the aircraft can evade air defenses.
In April, a drone packed with explosives hit the coalition’s Iraq headquarters in the military part of the airport in Arbil, the Iraqi Kurdish regional capital.
The next month, a drone packed with explosives hit the Ain Al-Asad airbase housing US troops.
On June 9, three explosives-laden drones targeted Baghdad airport, where US soldiers are also deployed. One was intercepted by the Iraqi army.
⚠️????????#URGENT: Missiles detected above United States Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq#Baghdad l #Iraq
Air defenses are currently engaging targets over the United States Embassy. Multiple projectiles are continuing to be detected.
Americans should avoid the area!
— Intel Point ALERTS (@IntelPointAlert) July 5, 2021
In a sign that the United States is concerned about new drone attacks, it recently offered up to $3 million for information on attacks targeting its interests in Iraq.
Separately on Monday, three rockets targeted an Iraqi air base in the western desert that also housed US troops, the international anti-jihadist coalition said.
The attack targeted the base at Ain al-Assad without causing any casualties.