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US troops shoot down armed drone over coalition air base in Iraq

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US troops shoot down armed drone over coalition air base in Iraq, a day after four Americans were injured in airstrike in Syria ‘carried out by Iran-backed militias’

  • It was shot down at 1.46am on Friday by defense systems at Ain al-Asad . Air Force Base
  • The base, which houses coalition forces, is located in the western province of Anbar
  • No casualties or damage have been reported and the incident is under investigation

US forces fighting Islamic State have shot down an armed drone targeting a coalition air base in Iraq.

The unmanned aerial system, reportedly made of carbon fiber, was intercepted by US air defense systems at Ain al-Asad Air Force Base at 1:46 a.m. Friday.

The base, which houses both Iraqi and US forces, is located in the desert in the western province of Anbar.

No casualties or damage have been reported and the incident is under investigation.

US forces fighting the Islamic State group have shot down an armed drone targeting a coalition air base in Iraq (a fragment of the drone in photo)

The base (pictured), which houses both Iraqi and US forces, is located in the desert in western Anbar province

The base (pictured), which houses both Iraqi and US forces, is located in the desert in western Anbar province

A statement from the US Combined Joint Task Force said: “At approximately 1:46 a.m., April 8, US air defense systems shot down an armed unmanned aerial vehicle system that entered Al Asad Air Base, Iraq.

“There have been no reports of injuries or damage and all coalition personnel have been notified. The incident is under investigation.’

The attack comes after four US troops were injured on Thursday when rockets were fired at a base housing US troops in the neighboring Syrian province of Deir Ezzor.

A pair of grenades fell on the base in Green Village, which is used to train local troops to fight what remains of the Islamic State.

The unmanned aerial system, reportedly made of carbon fiber, was intercepted by US air defense systems at Ain al-Asad airbase at 1:46 a.m. Friday.

The unmanned aerial system, reportedly made of carbon fiber, was intercepted by US air defense systems at Ain al-Asad airbase at 1:46 a.m. Friday.

In early January, coalition forces in Iraq said they shot down two armed drones targeting Ain Al-Asad's base.  Ain al-Asad has also been attacked by ISIS in the past

In early January, coalition forces in Iraq said they shot down two armed drones targeting Ain Al-Asad’s base. Ain al-Asad has also been attacked by ISIS in the past

One of the soldiers was being treated for a traumatic brain injury and the second was being treated for minor injuries, according to a tweet since deleted by the Special Operations Joint Task Force-Levant, which oversees US-led forces in the region.

An anonymous US official told Reuters that both soldiers have been evacuated and are back at work.

Dozens of missile and armed drone strikes have targeted US forces and interests in Iraq in recent months.

No casualties or damage have been reported and the incident is under investigation

No casualties or damage have been reported and the incident is under investigation

Western officials have blamed hard-line pro-Iranian factions for the attacks, which have never been claimed.

In early January, coalition forces in Iraq said they shot down two armed drones targeting Ain Al-Asad’s base.

It was also attacked in March last year when at least 10 rockets were fired from a launcher located five miles from the airbase.

A statement from the US Combined Joint Task Force said: 'At approximately 1:46 a.m., April 8, US air defense systems shot down an armed unmanned aerial vehicle system that entered Al Asad Air Base, Iraq'

A statement from the US Combined Joint Task Force said: ‘At approximately 1:46 a.m., April 8, US air defense systems shot down an armed unmanned aerial vehicle system that entered Al Asad Air Base, Iraq’

At the time, an American civilian contractor suffered a heart attack while sheltering and died shortly after.

The US-led coalition ended its combat mission in Iraq in December 2011, four years after the Baghdad government declared victory over the jihadists.

But about 2,500 US soldiers and 1,000 coalition soldiers remain deployed to three Iraqi-controlled bases across the country, including Ain Al-Asad, to provide training, advice and assistance to national troops.

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