admits US drone ‘crash’

28 admits US drone ‘crash’

An American army drone has “crashed” north of the Iraqi capital, a Pentagon official advised a number of media shops, declining to supply particulars. The incident comes weeks after a US drone strike killed a neighborhood militia chief in Baghdad, an assault denounced by the Iraqi authorities.

The UAV went down on Thursday evening close to Balad air base, positioned round 70 kilometers (43 miles) north of Baghdad, the unnamed protection official stated in an announcement obtained by AFP, RIA Novosti and different information businesses.

“Iraqi safety forces recovered the plane. There have been no accidents reported,” the official stated on Friday, including that “an investigation of the reason for the crash is underway.”

Whereas the official gave no indication of whether or not the drone suffered a technical difficulty or was downed by enemy hearth, the admission got here simply hours after a neighborhood militia group – the Islamic Resistance in Iraq – claimed to have focused a US MQ-9 Reaper, that are used for each surveillance and air strikes.

“Mujahideen yesterday focused… an MQ-9 drone belonging to the American occupation,” the group stated in an announcement on Friday.

Unconfirmed footage purporting to point out the costly US drone plummeting from the sky engulfed in flames has made the rounds on-line – whereas one other clip appeared to depict the aftermath of the crash, with particles seen scattered on the bottom.

Washington has launched a sequence of lethal strikes on Iraq and Syria in latest months, most focusing on militia teams with alleged hyperlinks to Iran. An American drone strike on Baghdad earlier this month killed militia chief Mushtaq Jawad Kazim al-Jawari, who headed up Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, a Shia armed group stated to have ties to the Islamic Resistance faction.

A army spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani condemned the strike as an “unjustified assault on an Iraqi safety entity” that was working with official authorization. Al-Jawari had served as a commander within the Common Mobilization Forces (PMF), a unfastened assortment of state-sanctioned paramilitaries shaped in 2014 to assist beat again Islamic State (IS, previously ISIS).

One other high-profile US drone strike close to the Baghdad Worldwide Airport in January 2020 resulted within the loss of life of PMF deputy chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, in addition to Qassem Solemani, the pinnacle of Iran’s elite Quds Pressure. That assault was additionally denounced by Baghdad, with then-PM Adel Abdul Mahdi calling it “aggression on Iraq as a state, authorities and folks.”

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