US and coalition forces in Iraq came under attack on Thursday afternoon, as the senior general overseeing US forces in the Middle East was visiting the region to meet with American troops and key leaders.
Multiple one-way attack drones were launched against Al-Asad Airbase in Iraq, on Thursday, a US official said. There were no casualties or infrastructure damage reported.
The attack marks at least 98 against US and coalition forces since they began on October 17. The attack came as Gen. Erik Kurilla, commander of US Central Command, was traveling in Iraq and Syria on Wednesday and Thursday. According to a CENTCOM post on X, the site formerly known as Twitter, Kurilla met with the Iraqi prime minister and other officials as well as the US Embassy team.
“The leaders discussed current regional and local security concerns with a particular emphasis on the attacks against US forces,” the CENTCOM post said. Kurilla then travelled to Baghdad, Al-Asad Airbase and Erbil Airfield.
In Syria, Kurilla met with “key partners” at various bases to discuss the ongoing defeat-ISIS mission.
“These visits provide valuable insights you cannot get without traveling to the region and seeing it first-hand,” Kurilla said in the CENTCOM post. “I came away with a great sense of pride in the professionalism, dedication, and competence of our incredible service members deployed in harm’s way.”
According to the US official, there have been 46 attacks on forces in Iraq, and 52 on forces in Syria, since October 17. There were three attacks on US and coalition forces in Syria on Wednesday. The leader of an Iran-backed Iraqi militia vowed this month to continue attacks on US forces “as long as Zionist crimes continue in Gaza and the American occupation continues in Iraq.”
Pentagon officials have maintained throughout the weeks of attacks that the US has been successful in deterring the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza from expanding out into the region.
“[W]hat we are focused on is preventing the crisis in Israel, as it relates to the conflict between Israel and Hamas, from expanding into the broader region,” Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said last week. “So far, it’s our assessment that that has been contained.”
Source : CNN