Iraqi forces thwart drone attack on Balad air base

Iraqi forces thwart drone attack on Balad air base
2 min read
15 January, 2022
Iraqi security forces have shot down three drones over the Balad air base north of Baghdad, where US forces were formerly present.
The drones attacked the Balad Air Base north of Baghdad [Getty]

Iraqi forces stopped a drone attack on the Balad air base north of Baghdad early on Saturday, the Iraqi Security Media Cell announced in a statement.

"Three drones got close to the southern perimeter of the Balad Air Base in Salaheddin province early this morning," the statement said.

"They were spotted with the naked eye by forces tasked with protecting the southern towers and it was established that they were enemy aircraft. The forces then opened fire on the planes, which fled," it added.

US forces used to be present at the Balad Air Base but withdrew in the middle of last year.

Pro-Iran militias have frequently carried out attacks on US forces in Iraq. The US announced the withdrawal of all its forces from the country late last year but some troops are believed to remain for "training purposes".

Iraq Report
Live Story

Media platforms close to the pro-Iran militias confirmed the attack, claiming however that the drones managed to cause some damage to the Balad base.

On Thursday, rockets landed on the Green Zone in Baghdad, which houses Iraqi government offices and foreign embassies, including the US embassy, wounding three people including two children.

The Iraqi foreign ministry condemned the attack in a statement saying 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”.