US troops shoot down armed drone near US embassy in Baghdad

US troops shot down an armed drone over their embassy in Baghdad Monday night, Iraqi security officials said, hours after a rocket attack on a base with US soldiers in the west of the country.

US defense systems fired missiles into the air in Baghdad, according to AFP reporters, with Iraqi security sources saying the salvos knocked out a drone laden with explosives.

Since the beginning of the year, 47 attacks have targeted US interests in the country, where 2,500 US troops are deployed as part of an international coalition to fight the jihadist Islamic State group.

Six of them involved these types of drones, a tactic that is giving the coalition a headache because the plane can evade air defenses.

In April, a drone full of explosives struck the Iraqi coalition headquarters in the military section of the airport of Arbil, the Iraqi Kurdish regional capital.

The following month, a drone full of explosives hit the Ain Al-Asad Air Force Base where US troops resided.

On June 9, three explosive-laden drones targeted Baghdad airport, where US soldiers are also deployed. One was intercepted by the Iraqi army.

As a sign that the United States is concerned about new drone strikes, it recently offered up to $3 million for intelligence on attacks targeting its interests in Iraq.

Separately on Monday, three missiles targeted an Iraqi air base in the western desert that also housed US troops, the international anti-jihadist coalition said.

The attack targeted the base at Ain al-Assad without incurring any casualties.


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