An attack with “armed drones” targeted Saturday evening the international airport of Erbil, close to the consulate of the United States of this city in the north of Iraq. The incident caused no casualties, assured the Iraqi Kurdistan counterterrorism unit.
The airport, where there is an air base housing troops of the international anti-jihadist coalition, “suffered no damage,” said the director of the site. “There are no casualties in the attack carried out with two armed drones on Erbil International Airport,” the anti-terrorism force of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan said in a statement.
An AFP correspondent heard two loud explosions and saw black smoke rise in the air, just as he heard sirens sounding from the US consulate. Access to the airport sector was sealed off by a strong security presence, according to witnesses.
Attacks of this kind, targeting American troops and interests in Iraq in particular, have been recurring in recent months. Never claimed, they are systematically attributed by the United States to pro-Iran Iraqi factions.
The new use of drones is a headache for the coalition, because these flying devices can escape the C-RAM defense batteries, installed by the US military to defend its troops.
In July, a drone bomb attack was carried out on Erbil International Airport, causing no injuries or material damage. A few weeks earlier, three drones had targeted Baghdad airport, where American soldiers are also deployed.
Sworn enemies, Iran and the United States both have a presence or allies in Iraq, where Washington deploys some 2,500 troops.
Saturday’s incident in Erbil comes on the day the United States commemorated 9/11, paying tribute to the victims of the jihadist attacks that killed 3,000 people 20 years ago.