Militia group claims responsibility for drone attack on U.S-led Coalition in Erbil

Smoke rises after a drone rigged with explosives hit a U.S.-led Coalition base in Erbil, April 14, 2021.

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — An Iraqi militia group called Thaereen Brigade claimed responsibility for a drone attack on the U.S.-led Coalition forces in the Kurdistan Region.

The group affiliated to the Iraqi resistance faction said it had attacked Harir base of the Coalition forces in Erbil with booby-trapped drones early on Friday.

Earlier, Coalition Spokesman Wayne Marotto confirmed the base was attacked with a drone, saying there were no casualties.

“The United States and the coalition forces are vigilant and will reserve the natural right to self-defense,” he told state news agency INA.

The attack comes as officials from the United States and Iraq have begun the fourth round of U.S.-Iraq strategic dialogue.

In the third round of talks in April, the United States agreed to remove remaining combat forces deployed to fight Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Iraq.

There are currently 2,500 U.S. troops in Iraq focusing on countering the remnants of Islamic State (ISIS).

A senior U.S. defense official said on Thursday that the U.S. and Iraq were expected to formalize the end of Washington’s combat mission in Iraq by the end of the year and continue the transition toward training and advising Iraqi forces, according to Reuters.

But the announcement, set to come after President Joe Biden meets his Iraqi counterpart in Washington on Monday, will be at a politically delicate time for the Iraqi government and could be seen as a victory domestically in Baghdad.

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