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Drone Attack Targets Military Base Hosting US Troops

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Drone Attack Targets Military Base Hosting US Troops

A drone attacked a military base hosting American troops in Iraqi Kurdistan, the US-led coalition operating there confirmed on Saturday. 

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The coalition reported no casualties, but the attack comes as Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi is set to meet US President Joe Biden in Washington on Wednesday to discuss the proposed US troop withdrawal from Iraq.  

"An unmanned aerial system impacted a coalition base in Kurdistan" in the early hours of Friday, coalition spokesman US Colonel Wayne Marotto said in a statement. "There were no casualties and no damage as a result of the attack," he said, adding, "the United States and coalition forces will stay vigilant and maintain the inherent right to self-defence."

Iraqi Kurdish media outlets said the attack targeted the al-Harir base, 70km northeast of Erbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region. This attack is the latest in a series of incidents that have targeted US military and diplomatic facilities across Iraq and been blamed on pro-Iranian armed groups. 

Earlier this month, a series of drone and rocket attacks targeted US diplomats and troops stationed in Iraq and Syria.  The attacks included two rockets fired at the US embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone.  The United States still has 2,500 troops stationed in Iraq, deployed as part of the international coalition to fight the Islamic State group. 

President Biden is expected to use his meeting Monday with the Iraqi prime minister to press him to take a stronger role in curtailing Iranian-backed drone attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq in Syria.

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