ANKAWA, Iraq — In a troubling escalation of regional tensions following the recent deadly explosion at a hospital in Gaza, two US military bases in Iraq and one in Syria were targeted by drones in the past 24 hours, resulting in minor injuries among US-led International Coalition forces. This development has raised concerns about the potential for a broader regional conflict and underscores the volatile nature of the current geopolitical landscape.
According to a US official speaking on condition of anonymity, two drones were used in an attack on the Al-Asad Airbase in western Iraq, which is utilized by US forces. The attack, which occurred on Wednesday, resulted in one drone being intercepted and destroyed, while the other managed to explode on the base, causing minor injuries to some coalition forces and equipment damage. In addition to the Al-Asad attack, another drone targeted Al-Harir Airbase in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) which houses US forces.
Tashkil al-Waritheen, a relatively unknown group, claimed responsibility for the Al-Harir attack, further adding to the complexity of the situation. While the group’s background remains obscure, these developments emphasize the growing threat posed by various armed factions in the region, many of which having ties to Iran.
In Syria, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), among other sources, reported a separate drone attack on Al-Tanf Airbase, situated in the 55-kilometer radius along the Syrian-Iraqi-Jordanian border. Last night, this strategic installation came under assault from three drones belonging to Iranian militias.
SOHR confirmed that two of the drones were successfully intercepted and neutralized by Coalition forces, while the third drone managed to breach the defenses and inflict material damage upon the base. There have been no reports of casualties resulting from this incident.
These attacks come against a backdrop of increased regional tensions driven by the recent escalation of the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Iranian-backed militias in Iraq have previously threatened to target US facilities, citing American support for Israel as a primary motive.