Paleontology: US forces ‘respond’ to attack in Iraq where drone hit pro-Iran group




BAGHDAD: US forces on Tuesday “responded” to an attack on them at an Iraq base that caused minor injuries and infrastructure damage, an American military official said.
On the same day, a drone strike hit a pro-Iran group’s vehicle west of Baghdad, killing one, said a security source speaking on condition of anonymity.
No source claimed the strike near Baghdad or said whom they held responsible for it.
US forces in Iraq and Syria have reported a spate of attacks from pro-Iranian groups since the Gaza war broke out between US ally Israel and Iran’s ally Hamas after the October 7 attacks.
A Pentagon official said an attack was launched against Ain al-Asad Air Base located in the desert in the Western Anbar province.
The Iraqi base hosts forces of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq.
“Last reported, there were minor injuries to US personnel and damage to infrastructure,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
When asked about the dawn drone attack in the Abu Ghraib region west of Baghdad, the US official said that “following the attack… US forces responded in self-defence against those who carried out the strike”.
The drone strike hit a vehicle belonging to a pro-Iran group in a convoy travelling along the motorway through Abu Ghraib, 30 kilometres (20 miles) west of Baghdad.
A source from the Hashed al-Shaabi or Popular Mobilisation forces — mainly pro-Iranian units now integrated in the regular armed forces — confirmed the strike, saying it killed one fighter and wounded three others.
The two security sources AFP spoke to asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the issue. They did not specify whom they held responsible for the deadly strike.
The United States has carried out strikes in Syria on three separate occasions targeting what it said were Iran-linked groups behind a surge in attacks since the Gaza war broke out.
Since the conflict erupted with a deadly Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, American forces deployed in Iraq and Syria have been attacked 61 times, causing minor injuries to dozens of US troops, according to Pentagon officials.
Most were rocket or drone attacks claimed by a group called “the Islamic resistance in Iraq”.
On Tuesday that group said that one of its fighters was killed, without elaborating on the circumstances of his death and without saying if he was killed in Abu Ghraib.
His funeral was held in a Baghdad mosque on Tuesday afternoon and hundreds of fighters from the Hashed al-Shaabi attended the ceremony, according to an AFP journalist.
There are roughly 2,500 American troops in Iraq and some 900 in Syria as part of efforts to prevent a resurgence of the Islamic State group.


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