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Coalition claims Iraqi base housing US troops hit by drone attack Middle East news

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No casualties were reported in the attack which took place days before Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi met with US President Joe Biden in Washington.

A military base in northern Iraq that houses US troops has been hit by a rocket attack, the latest to target Washington’s presence in the country.

Local media said the attack targeted a base near al-Harir, 70 km (45 miles) northeast of Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region.

This took place days before Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi met with US President Joe Biden at the White House on Monday to discuss a possible full withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.

An unmanned aerial system hit a coalition base in Kurdistan in the early hours of Friday, coalition spokesman Colonel Wayne Marotto said in a statement on Saturday.

There were no casualties or damage as a result of the attack, he said, adding that the United States and coalition forces will remain vigilant and uphold the inherent right to self-defense.

It was the latest in a series of attacks on US military and diplomatic facilities in Iraq and Syria blamed on pro-Iran armed groups within a state-sponsored paramilitary force.

Earlier this month, two dozen rockets were fired at the Ain al-Assad base in western Anbar province that is home to Iraqi and US forces, an assault that injured two servicemen.

Meanwhile, the United States has carried out several airstrikes in recent months against armed groups in Iraq in response to the attacks.

In June, the US military said it had targeted operational and weapons storage facilities in two locations in Syria and one location in Iraq, killing at least five fighters and injuring several others.

The United States still has about 2,500 troops deployed in Iraq out of the 3,500 men of the international coalition set up in 2014 to fight ISIL (ISIL).

Their departure is demanded by pro-Iranian factions, accused of around fifty attacks against American interests in Iraq since the beginning of the year.

The Iraqi Resistance Coordinating Committee on Friday threatened to continue the attacks unless the United States withdraws all its forces and ends the occupation.

Most of the US troops deployed as part of the coalition, which helped defeat ISIS in Iraq in 2017, have been withdrawn under former US President Donald Trump.

Those who remain are officially classified as advisers and trainers for the Iraqi army and counterterrorism units.

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