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US shoots down Iranian drone after ‘unprovoked attack’ in northern Iraq

Ebrahim Raisi speaks at a political rally in Iran. (Hossein Razaqnejad, Wikimedia Commons released)
September 28, 2022

U.S. Forces in Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region shot down an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) drone after IRGC forces launched an “unprovoked attack” in the area on Wednesday.

In a press statement on Wednesday, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) spokesperson Joe Buccino said “at approximately 2:10 PM local time, US forces brought down an Iranian Mojer-6 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle headed in the direction of Erbil as it appeared as a threat to CENTCOM forces in the area.”

Earlier in the day, IRGC forces claimed responsibility for drone and missile attacks on targets in northern Iraq. The Iranian state-run Islamic Republic News Agency repeated IRGC claims that they carried out drone and missile strikes in retaliation to recent anti-Iran terrorist group attacks from the region.

“US Central Command condemns the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ unprovoked attack in Iraq’s Erbil Governorate this morning,” Buccino said. “Such indiscriminate attacks threaten innocent civilians and risk the hard-fought stability of the region.”

Buccino said no U.S. forces were wounded or killed as a result of the IRGC strikes earlier in the day and there is no damage to U.S. equipment.

“CENTCOM personnel operate in Iraq at the invitation of the Government of Iraq to advise, assist, and enable partner forces in the ensuring the lasting defeat of ISIS. “CENTCOM forces, in support of partnered forces in Iraq, are assessing the situation.”

Authorities in the Kurdish region said 13 people have been killed and another 58 have been wounded in Iran’s attacks on Kurdistan on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

The Iranian drone attack in Erbil comes just weeks after U.S. forces thwarted another drone attack against a U.S. base in Syria. Iran-backed militia groups have been behind other drone attacks on U.S. troops throughout Iraq and Syria in recent years.

Last week, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi visited the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. and Republican lawmakers had called for President Joe Biden to block Raisi’s visit the U.S. and criticized Biden for allowing the visit to proceed.