(DailyVantage.com) – Technology’s rise has created many opportunities and advances globally, but not always to good effect. Sometimes, people use high-tech developments for nefarious purposes. US forces recently encountered one such case in Iraq and had to act quickly to save lives.
On Monday, January 3, US coalition forces shot down two fixed-wing suicide drones as they approached an Iraqi military base near Baghdad’s international airport. Fortunately, the attack didn’t injure anyone on the base, which currently hosts American forces. However, the incident certainly caused concern.
Footage taken by US defensive systems, C-RAM at Ain Al Asad Air Base shows the moment that “two suicide drones” were engaged & shot down pic.twitter.com/b8T5oW6NVU
— Nafiseh Kohnavard (@nafisehkBBC) January 4, 2022
Anniversary of Qassem Soleimani’s Death
The planned attack took place on the second anniversary of General Qassem Soleimani’s death. Soleimani headed the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force and died in 2020 when former President Donald Trump ordered a drone attack in response to hundreds of American and coalition forces’ deaths at the general’s hands.
Messages scrawled on the drones said “Soleimani’s revenge” and “revenge operations for our leaders,” leaving no mistake Iran intended the recent action as a retaliatory attack. Fortunately, the C-RAM defense system engaged the drones before any damage occurred. Despite the messages, nobody came forward and claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Increasing Tensions Between the US and Iran
Since Soleimani’s death, tensions between the US and Iran have only heightened. Following the drone strike that killed the general, Iran retaliated with a missile attack, seriously injuring more than 100 US soldiers at Erbil and Al-Asad Airbases. Twenty-nine of those soldiers received purple heart medals for their injuries. Shortly after that, in March 2020, Iran attacked US forces again, killing two Americans in a rocket attack on Camp Taji. The US didn’t stand by quietly, retaliating against targets in both Syria and Iraq.
President Joe Biden’s arrival in the White House did nothing to ease tensions. In fact, his insistence on trying to re-enter the Iran Nuclear Deal may be making things worse.
On Saturday, January 1, a rally took place at Baghdad airport, and attendees called for the expulsion of US forces from Iraq. Currently, the Pentagon has a few thousand personnel stationed in the Middle Eastern country serving in advisory roles; there are no combat soldiers in the country.
The Iranian government is also calling for the UN Security Council to hold both Israel and the United States responsible for the attack that killed Soleimani. Officials maintain they will continue to seek revenge unless Trump and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo face a trial for the murder.
It doesn’t seem like tensions will subside any time soon. Keeping a watchful eye on the Middle East, particularly Iraq and Iran, is critical to the safety of US forces in the area. Because diplomatic relations with Russia and China also present challenges, Biden certainly has his hands full.
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