Drones target U.S. forces in Iraq on 9/11 anniversary

Erbil, Iraq, is marked with the red pin. Image: Google Maps

Sept. 12 (UPI) — U.S. forces in Iraq were targeted by drones as the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks wrapped up.

Col. Wayne Marotto, a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, said on Twitter early Sunday that forces at Erbil International Airport were attacked by two Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or UAS, shortly before midnight.

Marotto wrote that force protection countermeasures were used to “defeat the drones” as one impacted the inside perimeter and the other impacted the outside perimeter. No injuries or property damage were reported.

“Each attack against the Gol, KRI and the Coalition undermines the authority of Iraqi institutions, the rule of law and Iraqi National sovereignty,” Marotto wrote. “These attacks endanger the lives of civilians and the partner forces from the ISF, Peshmerga and Coalition.”

Kurdistan Regional Government foreign media representative Lawk Ghafuri also confirmed the attack.

“The security forces are investigating the incident and more info will come in coming hours,” Ghafuri said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Erbil International Airport was also targeted by a drone attack in April that resulted in no casualties and one non-American contractor and eight other contractors were killed in a rocket attack at the airport in February.

The United States also conducted air strikes against Iraq after a militia killed a U.S. contractor in the country in December 2019 and U.S. forces ultimately killed Iranian Quds Force leader Gen. Qassem Soleimani in January 2020.

In the wake of then-President George W. Bush declaring a “War on Terror” after the 9/11 terror attacks, the United States and coalition forces invaded Iraq on March 19, 2003, citing intelligence that the country and its leader Saddam Hussein possessed or were working to develop weapons of mass destruction.


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