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US Troops Foil Drone Attack in Iraq, First in Months

US foils drone attack on troops in Iraq (Credits: Air & Space Forces Magazine)

On Tuesday, the Pentagon confirmed that U.S. troops stationed in Iraq faced attempted attacks by Iranian-backed groups for the first time since February.

Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, the press secretary, disclosed that on April 22, militia groups associated with Iran made two unsuccessful attempts to target U.S. forces in both Iraq and Syria. This marks the first assault on facilities hosting American service members since February 4.

Ryder emphasized that the U.S. government has urged the Iraqi authorities to take decisive action to safeguard the security of American forces in both Iraq and Syria, especially against such threats from these militia groups. He reiterated that the U.S. military stands ready to defend its personnel, as it has done in the past.

US Forces in Iraq Attacked by Drones (Credits: Fox News)

Reports indicate that the attempted attacks involved two drones that targeted the Al-Asad air base located in the Anbar province of western Iraq. This incident occurred shortly after rockets were fired from northern Iraq toward U.S. forces stationed in Rumalyn, northeastern Syria, on the previous day.

In response to the rocket threat, a coalition aircraft intervened, destroying the rocket system and preventing any damage to the base. Ryder characterized this action as a necessary act of self-defense against what he described as a “failed rocket attack.”

However, the U.S. military refrained from officially labeling the rocket firings as an attack, citing uncertainty over whether they specifically targeted American forces. Ryder explained that the incident involved a malfunctioning truck-mounted rocket launcher that fired rockets indiscriminately.

US troops in Iraq targeted by drones (Credits: The Defense Post)

The recent attempted attacks on U.S. troops come after a period of relative calm in the region following retaliatory airstrikes by the United States in early February. These airstrikes targeted 85 locations in Iraq and Syria associated with Iranian-backed militias and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Prior to this lull, U.S. forces in the region faced frequent rocket and drone strikes since mid-October, triggered by Israel’s military actions against the Hamas militia group in the Gaza Strip.

Currently, approximately 2,500 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq, with an additional 900 deployed in Syria. Their missions primarily involve advising and training local partner forces, as well as conducting counterterrorism operations against remnants of the Islamic State group in both countries.

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