A second attack against U.S.-led coalition troops in Iraq involving two fixed-wing drones rigged with explosives was foiled Tuesday, according to Reuters.
An unnamed coalition official told Reuters that the drones were shot down by air defenses as they approached Ain al-Asad Airbase, located in western Al-Anbar province. Another attempted strike on Monday was made at a coalition base housing U.S. troops near Baghdad International Airport. That was also foiled by air defenses.
No injuries were reported. No claims of responsibility for either attack on Monday and Tuesday have been made yet.
While the attack was once again stopped using base defense capabilities, concerns are rising over the increasing tension between the U.S., Iran and armed-groups supporting Iran.
The first drone strike marked the second anniversary of the assassination of Iranian general and Quds Forces leader Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a drone strike ordered by former President Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport in 2020.
Following yesterday’s attack, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called for the U.S. to put Trump and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo up for trial in “a fair court for the criminal act of assassinating General Soleimani, Muslims will take our martyr’s revenge.”
“The aggressor, murderer and main culprit — the then president of the United States — must be tried and judged under the [Islamic] law of retribution, and God’s ruling must be carried out against him,” Raisi said in a speech Monday.
U.S. troops remain in Iraq despite December 2021 marking the official end of their combat mission there.
“While we have ended our combat mission, we maintain the inherent right of self-defense,” the coalition official reportedly told Reuters.
“These are attacks against Iraqi installations and an attack against the Iraqi people and the military that protects them. We maintain a minimal footprint on Iraqi bases — the coalition no longer has its own bases in Iraq.”
Rachel is a Marine Corps veteran and a master's candidate at New York University's Business & Economic Reporting program.