Suicide drones strike US airbase in Erbil

Suicide drones strike US airbase in Erbil
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Unidentified suicide drones attacked the Harir airbase housing US troops in Erbil, causing damage but no casualties. Pro-Iran militia claims responsibility amid escalating drone attacks, prompting condemnation from US officials and regional leaders.

Unidentified suicide drones targeted the Harir airbase in Erbil province, home to United States troops, Rudaw reported on Saturday, citing security sources.

The base was evacuated following the attack, which occurred at approximately 12:35 pm, causing damage but no casualties, according to the source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Witnesses reported hearing loud explosions, and Reuters, citing two unnamed security sources, stated that the attack damaged airbase infrastructure. This incident followed a similar drone attack just two days earlier, targeting the base's oil storage facility and sparking a fire.

While there has been no official confirmation or claim of responsibility, the Islamic Resistance of Iraq, a pro-Iran militia group, has previously claimed responsibility for numerous drone and rocket attacks against US troops in the region, including the Thursday attack on Harir. The group asserts that these actions are a response to Washington's support for Israel in its conflict with Palestinian Hamas.

Since October 17, a total of 46 attacks on US troops have occurred, with 24 in Iraq and 22 in Syria, according to Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh. US State Secretary Antony Blinken, in a recent meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani, condemned the attacks, emphasizing their "unacceptability" and pledging necessary measures to protect American interests and personnel. Blinken urged Sudani to pursue the attackers.

Prime Minister Sudani previously condemned repeated strikes on bases hosting US troops, highlighting that American presence in Iraq is based on an official invitation to support and train Iraqi security forces. Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani expressed concern, calling these attacks "extremely dangerous" for Iraq and the region. Barzani urged Iraq's prime minister to prevent outlaw forces from causing issues and warned against Iraq's involvement in regional tensions.