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Drone, explosive attacks target US forces across Iraq

Reuters

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Drone, explosive attacks target US forces across Iraq

US TROOPS. File photo shows military vehicles of US soldiers at the al-Asad air base in Anbar province, Iraq, January 13, 2020.

John Davison/REUTERS

Iran-backed militias in Iraq have publicly stated that US assets will continue to be targeted as long as the US backs Israel in its war on Gaza

MOSUL, Iraq – US forces were targeted in three attacks in Iraq on Thursday, November 9, but suffered no casualties, a US military official and security sources said, in the most widespread single day of strikes on US assets since the Israel-Hamas conflict started.

There had been four attacks against US troops in Iraq and Syria in the past 24 hours, a separate US official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Three US troops had minor injuries and they had returned to duty, the official added.

On Thursday morning, a US-led coalition convoy was targeted by an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in the vicinity of Mosul Dam but suffered no casualties, the US military official and two security sources said.

The security sources said the patrol was accompanied by Iraqi counter-terrorism forces and that a vehicle in the patrol was damaged.

Also Thursday morning, a one-way drone was launched against US and coalition forces at the Ain al-Asad airbase west of Baghdad but was shot down prior to reaching its target, with no casualties or damage to infrastructure, the US military official said.

A drone was also launched at al-Harir air base in Erbil which house US and international forces but was downed before reaching its target, security sources said.

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A statement from Iraqi Kurdistan’s counter-terrorism service, which differs to the Federal Iraqi service, said attacks by drones at the al-Harir airbase caused a fire at one of its fuel depots. It added that the base had been evacuated of US-led coalition forces on October 20.

The US military official said they “don’t have any updates regarding adjustments in force posture throughout Iraq and Syria.”

US and coalition troops have been attacked at least 40 times in Iraq and Syria since early October over Israel’s devastating siege of Gaza in retaliation for Hamas militants’ October 7 cross-border attack.

So far, 56 US personnel have been injured in the attacks with traumatic brain injuries or minor injuries, though all have returned to duty, the Pentagon said.

The US blames the attacks on groups backed by Iran and says Tehran is ultimately responsible, a claim which Tehran denies, saying groups engaging in the attacks were doing so on their own accord.

Iran-backed militias in Iraq have publicly stated that US assets will continue to be targeted as long as the US backs Israel in its war on Gaza.

The latest attacks come after the White House said on Thursday the US military had struck targets in Syria to destroy weaponry and deter Iranian-backed separatist groups from targeting American personnel in the region.

The United States has occasionally carried out retaliatory strikes against Iranian-backed forces in the region after they attack American forces, including a strike on October 26. – Rappler.com

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