In conjunction with the commemoration of the assassination of Al-Muhandis and Soleimani.. thwarting an attack by two drones at Baghdad Airport
An Iraqi security source confirmed that the defense systems thwarted an attack by two drones on the diplomatic area at Baghdad airport, coinciding with the commemoration of the second anniversary of the assassination of Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Authority, and the commander of the Quds Force in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Qassem Soleimani.
The source added that the defense systems shot down the two marches before they reached the goal.
An official in the international coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq stated that a compound at the airport was attacked – not yet claimed by any party – with “two booby-trapped drones” around 4:30 a.m. on Monday.
He added that “the (US) Searam air defense system of the Diplomatic Support Center in Baghdad shot down the two planes,” explaining that “the attack did not result in damage.”
The source explained that the diplomatic support center at Baghdad airport affiliated to the US embassy is a complex that “includes a small number of coalition forces that do not play a combat role.”
Pictures published by the coalition showed remnants of the two planes, bearing the words “Revenge of the Leaders.”
The former commander of the Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, was responsible for foreign operations in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and one of the most prominent architects of the regional policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He and Al-Muhandis were killed by a US drone strike shortly after their departure from Baghdad Airport on January 3, 2020.
Today, Monday, Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi vowed to avenge the killing of Soleimani unless former US President Donald Trump is tried.
For days, the Popular Mobilization Forces – which is made up of several factions loyal to most of them to Iran – have been holding celebrations on the second anniversary of the assassination of Muhandis and Soleimani.
On Sunday evening, a memorial service and candle lighting was held at Baghdad Airport, in which hundreds of crowd supporters participated.
Qais al-Khazali, a leader in the Popular Mobilization and Secretary-General of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, one of the crowd’s most influential factions, said in a speech, “As for the American occupation, you had to understand very well that this great people cannot accept the occupation.”
Since the assassination of Soleimani and al-Muhandis, American interests in Iraq have been targeted with missiles or drones sometimes, including the vicinity of the American embassy in Iraq, and Iraqi military bases that include forces from the international coalition, such as Ain al-Assad in the west of the country, or Erbil airport in the north.
Recently, the frequency of these attacks, which rarely resulted in casualties, has decreased, and no party claims them, but Washington attributes them to pro-Iranian factions.
The era of former US President Donald Trump witnessed an escalation of tension between the United States and Iran, which often emerged in Iraq, where the two countries have influence and allies. The two countries were twice on the brink of a direct military confrontation, the first in June 2019 after Iran shot down a US drone that it said had violated its airspace, and the second was after the assassination of Soleimani.
And Iraq officially announced last December 9 that the presence of foreign “combat” forces in the country ended at the end of 2021, and that the new mission of the international coalition was advisory and training only, in implementation of an agreement announced for the first time in July in Washington by US President Joe Biden during the visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.
About 2,500 US soldiers and 1,000 coalition troops will remain in Iraq. These forces have been providing advice and training since the summer of 2020 to the Iraqi forces, while the majority of the American forces sent to it in 2014 as part of the international coalition under President Donald Trump left Iraq.