BAGHDAD, Iraq, 3 January (Reuters) – According to Iraqi security sources, two armed drones were shot down on Monday as they neared an Iraqi military base hosting US personnel near Baghdad’s international airport. No one was injured in the incident.
The strike occurred on the second anniversary of the assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani by Iran and its Iraqi allies.
Soleimani was assassinated near Baghdad airport in a drone strike ordered by then-US President Donald Trump.
An spokesperson from the US-led international military coalition said the base’s defence system had engaged in the attack “two suicide drones with fixed wings They were unharmed when they were shot down “..
In a brief statement, a coalition official said, “This was a dangerous attack on a civilian airport.”
The attack was not immediately claimed as a result of a claim of responsibility. In the past, armed organisations backed by Iran, according to certain Iraqi officials, have claimed responsibility for similar occurrences.
Footage given by a coalition officer shows the debris of two fixed-wing drones destroyed in the attack, with writing clearly visible on one drone’s wing reading “Soleimani’s revenge,” according to the official.
On Jan. 3, 2020, Soleimani, the chief of an elite overseas unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, was killed in a U.S. drone hit on his convoy at Baghdad airport, along with Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
On the anniversary of Soleimani’s murder, hundreds of followers of Iran-backed paramilitary groups gathered at Baghdad airport on Sunday to yell anti-American chants.