U.S. and allied forces in Iraq came under attack by two suicide drones early on Oct. 18, according to the Pentagon. The drones were shot down before they could cause harm.
“An attempted attack against U.S. and Coalition forces in Iraq was disrupted in the early morning of Oct. 18,” a U.S. defense official told The Epoch Times.
“Two one-way drones were shot down in the attack. There were no injuries to any forces during the attempted attack.”
The United States maintains a limited presence in Iraq and has come under fire from Iran-backed militants in the country several times in recent years. In one incident in March 2022, for example, Iran directed missiles near the U.S. Embassy in Erbil.
The Oct. 18 attack targeting Iraq’s Al-Asad Airbase comes as the United States moves to provide security and humanitarian aid to Israel following the Oct. 7 terrorist attack by Hamas on the embattled Jewish state.
Violence Surges After Hospital ExplosionMuch of the violence directed at U.S. and Israeli embassies across the Middle East stems from outrage over a deadly explosion at the Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza on Oct. 17.
The Palestinian Authority initially reported that the blast, which left hundreds dead, was caused by an Israeli bombing; several Western media outlets, including CNN and Politico, circulated headlines affirming the claim as well.
Open-source intelligence analysts, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and the Pentagon have since compiled geolocated video of the incident demonstrating the explosion was caused by a malfunctioning rocket fired from within Gaza.
The IDF has since released intercepted audio communications from the area at the time of the blast suggesting that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a designated terrorist organization, was behind the failed rocket launch.
“An enemy rocket barrage was carried out toward Israel, which passed in the vicinity of the hospital when it was hit,” IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said in a statement to media outlets on Oct. 18.
That hasn't stopped adversaries of Israel and the United States from seeking to exploit the situation.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian wrote on social media that time was "running out" for Israel after the Al-Ahli explosion. He also vowed that more fronts would open in the ongoing Israel–Gaza War.
Likewise, officials in Russia have said that Israel should be considered responsible until it provides further proof that it didn't strike the hospital.
Israel did, in fact, release drone footage of the scene of the explosion, which it stated shows that it wasn't responsible because there was no impact crater from any missile or bomb.
There has nevertheless been significant political fallout for Israel and the United States across the Arab world. Riots and demonstrations in support of Hamas have taken place in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey, several of which have resulted in attacks against U.S. and Israeli embassies.
No consulate or embassy has yet been breached in the unrest.