According to a Wednesday morning Pentagon press release, U.S. forces shot down four drones that were going for two air bases housing American troops in Iraq.
Col. Sean Heidgerken of U.S. Central Command stated that on the morning of October 18, they were able to foil an attack against American and Coalition forces in Iraq. In the assault, two unidirectional drones were destroyed. During the attempted attack, no members of either force were hurt.
Reports show drones were directed at the al-Asad air base in western Iraq and occurred hours before another drone strike was intercepted near the al-Harir Air Base in Iraq, where U.S. soldiers are stationed. U.S. authorities have not disclosed who fired the drones or how they were stopped. According to multiple sources, an Iraqi militia supported by Iran claimed responsibility for the incident.
According to U.S. Central Command, the drone strike on al-Asad resulted in minor injuries to a coalition soldier, while the attack on al-Harir resulted in no injuries.
Roughly 2,500 American troops are presently deployed in Iraq, with another 900 stationed in Syria. After the Hamas attack on Israel and the subsequent war, in which thousands of people have lost their lives, U.S. officials have expressed alarm about the region’s escalating tensions.
After Israel was attacked, the Pentagon ordered 2,000 troops to deploy, two carrier strike groups, and a fast response elite team to the Middle East.
According to a report, Iraq’s Shiite Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), which receive support from Iran, have killed over 600 American servicemen since 2003.
The Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs), despite their allegiance to Iran and its objective of U.S. troops’ withdrawal from the Middle East, have been enlisted by the Iraqi government to combat the Islamic State. Additionally, the PMUs have provided assistance in countering anti-Assad factions in Syria.