Suicide Drones Shot Down Near Military Base In Baghdad
Two armed drones were shot down as they approached a U.S. military base near Baghdad’s international airport on Monday.
The base’s defense system engaged “two fixed-wing suicide drones,” an official of the U.S.-led international military coalition reported. Both drones were downed “without incident” and no injuries were sustained.
“This was a dangerous attack on a civilian airport,” the coalition official said in a statement.
No group has claimed immediate responsibility for the attack, but it took place on the two-year anniversary of the assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani who was killed by a drone strike near the Baghdad airport under the Trump administration.
Footage obtained by the coalition official showed what he said was the debris from the drones that were shot down. “Soleimani’s revenge” could be seen on the wing of one drone.
Hundreds of supporters of Iran-backed militia groups gathered on Sunday at the Baghdad airport to commemorate Soleimani’s death. Armed groups backed by Iran have been alleged to have orchestrated similar attacks in the past.
Soleimani was the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force who the Pentagon said was “actively developing plans” to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq at the time of his assassination. Soleimani’s successor, Iranian Gen. Esmail Ghaani vowed to respond to “American mischief” in January 2020 after the U.S. military flew B-52 strategic bombers over the Persian Gulf.