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Bomb-laden drones hit occupation base near Iraqi capital airport housing US forces

Bomb-laden drones have reportedly struck an Iraqi military base housing US forces near Baghdad International Airport, the latest in a series of attacks that have targeted American troops in the Arab country over the past few months.

Sabereen News, a Telegram news channel associated with the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units, better known as Hashd al-Sha’abi, reported that two fixed-wing combat drones laden with explosives had struck targets inside Victory base early on Tuesday.

The report added that C-RAM systems as well as AN/TWQ-1 Avenger missile systems deployed at the base were not able to intercept the aircraft.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet and there has been no immediate report about possible damage.

The development came less than two days after an unnamed Iraqi security force said a Katyusha rocket had landed at Ain al-Asad Air Base in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, located about 160 kilometers (100 miles) west of the capital Baghdad, without causing casualties.

The US Department of State said on June 10 it was offering a reward of up to $3 million for information on attacks against American forces in Iraq.

The attacks come amid growing anti-US sentiment, which has intensified since the assassination of top Iranian anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad last year.

General Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and his Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units, were targeted along with their companions on January 3, 2020 in a terror drone strike authorized by former US president Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport.

Two days after the attack, Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill that requires the government to end the presence of all foreign military forces led by the US in the country.

On January 8, 2020, the IRGC targeted Ain al-Asad Anbar after launching a wave of attacks to retaliate the assassination of General Soleimani, in what Tehran described as a “first slap” to the Americans.

On April 8, Iraq and the US said they had agreed on the eventual withdrawal of US “combat” troops from Iraq, and that the two sides would hold talks to work out the timing.

The mission of US forces is now allegedly focused on “training” Iraqi troops to fight Daesh, but American troops target popular anti-terror fighters from time to time.

Iraqi resistance groups have warned that they will treat the American troops as occupying forces and take up arms against them if they refuse to leave their country.

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