(FILE) US and Iraqi soldiers participate in a parade during a graduation ceremony at a military base in Kirkuk, northern Iraq, February 15, 2010. EFE/Khalil Al-A'Nei

US shoots down three drones targeting its troops in Iraq

Baghdad/Washington, Oct 18 (EFE).- The United States shot down three drones on Wednesday that were targeting its troops stationed in Iraq, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement.

The incidents occurred over the past 24 hours: two drones were detected in western Iraq and action was taken to shoot them down, destroying one and damaging the second, resulting in minor injuries to some troops.

The third drone was destroyed in northern Iraq, CENTCOM said in its statement.

Official sources in Iraq had already reported a few hours earlier the downing of “bomb drones” intended to attack a US military base in northern Iraq.

The attempted attack was later claimed by an Iraqi armed group supporting the Palestinian factions currently at war with Israel.

Anti-terrorism authorities of the Iraqi Kurdistan region in the north of the country announced the downing of a drone bomb near a military base housing US forces in the city of Erbil, the region’s capital.

The Kurdish authority clarified in a statement that “an unmanned bomb drone fell in a desert area near the village of Batasi, in the municipality of Harir, in the province of Erbil, at 12:18 pm, without causing any casualties or material damage.”

A source from the Erbil police told EFE on condition of anonymity that “the US air defense of the Harir base was the one that shot down the drone that tried to attack the base.”

An armed organization calling itself Tashkil al Warezin (“The Formation of the Heirs”) claimed responsibility for the attempted attack “in support of the Palestinian factions currently at war with Israel.”

This organization, which is part of the Islamic Resistance Groups in Iraq and brings together a group of armed Shiite factions, said in a statement that this attack “against the US occupation base in northern Iraq, in Al Harir,” was framed “in support operations for the Al Aqsa storm.” EFE