US troops bring down drone near Iraq base hosting forces: Official

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American forces shot down an attack drone on Friday near a base where the country’s troops are deployed in western Iraq, a US defense official said.

The attempted drone attack came after the United States struck two military facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s IRGC and affiliated groups, which Washington says are behind a spike in attacks targeting American forces in the region.

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“US forces engaged a one-way attack drone a few kilometers from al-Assad Air Base, Iraq, and successfully shot it down without further incident,” the US defense official told AFP.

A group calling itself the Islamic Resistance in Iraq -- which has claimed many of the recent attacks on US and allied forces in Iraq and Syria -- said it carried out a drone attack targeting the base.

The US official also said there was a “multi-rocket attack” in Syria on Thursday against American and other forces from the international coalition ISIS.

“There were no casualties or damage to infrastructure,” the official said.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the American strikes on the two Iran-linked facilities in Syria on Thursday night, saying they were “a response to a series of ongoing and mostly unsuccessful attacks against US personnel in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-backed militia groups.”

American forces in the Middle East are facing a surge in attacks linked to the war between Israel and Hamas, which began when the militant group carried out a shock cross-border attack from Gaza on October 7 that Israeli officials say killed more than 1,400 people.

Israel’s retaliatory bombardment has killed more than 7,300 people, according to the Gaza health ministry -- deaths that have sparked widespread anger across the Middle East.

There are roughly 2,500 American troops in Iraq and some 900 in Syria as part of efforts to prevent a resurgence of ISIS, which once held significant territory in both countries but was pushed back by local ground forces backed by international air strikes in a bloody multi-year conflict.

With AFP

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