The Washington Post said that US military officials in Iraq are increasingly concerned about attacks by Iranian-backed militias using drones to evade defense systems around military bases and diplomatic facilities.
The newspaper quotes military officials and diplomats as saying that militias tend to use small drones that fly at very low altitudes, so defense systems cannot capture them.
The newspaper revealed that a drone attack on Ain Al-Asad airbase raised concerns among coalition leaders about the militia’s adaptation of their tactics.
The Washington Post, citing a coalition official, confirmed that the drone threat has become the biggest concern of coalition forces in Iraq.
According to the newspaper, some US officials – including Brett McGurk – have called for a serious review of the military response, but the administration ultimately decided not to take military action.
Although tensions have eased since President Joe Biden took office, U.S. officials fear that future attacks continue to risk triggering a new round of mutual violence.
In the absence of effective defenses, the drone threat presents the potential for a sudden escalation in violence.
Each new attack sparks a wave of communications, as U.S. officials seek to determine whether Americans have been killed or injured.