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Iraqi Army Thwarts Drone Attack on Military Airbase

Iraqi Army Thwarts Drone Attack on Military Airbase

Sunday, 16 January, 2022 - 07:45
Turkish Zilikan military base (Reuters)

The Iraqi forces thwarted an attack by three drones targeting the Balad Airbase near Baghdad, a day after rockets were launched at the Green Zone and a number of military areas.


Three drones approached the southern perimeter of the Balad Air Base, some 90 km north of Baghdad, prompting the Iraqi forces to open fire on the drones and forcing them to flee the scene.


Militias and armed factions affiliated with Iran continue to attack foreign bases and US military sites throughout Iraq by drones, missiles, and explosive devices.


Balad Air Base houses Iraqi F-16, L-159, and T-6 fighter jets. It also includes facilities, equipment, and integrated spare parts to maintain these combat aircraft.


The Security Media Cell issued a statement announcing: "Early Saturday, three drones approached the southern perimeter of Balad Air Base in Salahadin province."


"The drones were spotted with the naked eye by force tasked with protecting the southern towers, and it they were recognized as enemy aircraft."


The Cell added that the three drones fled the scene after being targeted by the Iraqi forces.


Balad Air Base Commander Major General Zia Mohsen told the Iraqi News Agency (INA) that three drones were seen approaching the base, and an order was issued to down them.


Mohsen noted that it was not possible to locate the exact launch location through the base's radar, but he affirmed that they were launched from a nearby place.


Authorities have not been able to stop these attacks or identify the factions and militias behind them.


Also, multiple rockets morning were fired Saturday at the Turkish Zilikan military base north of the Iraq province of Nineveh, causing no casualties.


Missile attacks targeted the base for months now. Reportedly, factions loyal to Iran who operate under the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) umbrella in Nineveh are behind those attack.


The attacks often cause panic among the residents of the Yazidi-majority region, who complain that the illegal Turkish base in their area threatens their security.


Earlier on Thursday, rockets also landed in the Green Zone in Baghdad.


The Iraqi foreign ministry condemned the attack, affirming that it was committed to "providing security and protection to diplomatic missions."


The foreign ministry said that those who launched the rockets were currently being pursued by Iraqi security sources and would be punished "according to the law."


Iraqi MP Sherwan al-Duberdany called on the security forces to arrest the "terrorists" who launch missiles and cause terror in Bashiqa.


Duberdany told the Rudaw media network that the "frequent targeting by terrorists of Zilikan base."


The lawmaker warned that the "terrorist operations" are a dangerous indicator of the lack of stability and security of Nineveh.


He pointed out that Zilikan was attacked from the outskirts of Bashiqa district and within its administrative borders, which fall within the responsibility of the PMF 30th Brigade and the third brigade of the Iraqi army.


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