Paramilitary forces fire at unknown drone in central Iraq

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-16 02:42:35|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BAGHDAD, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- The paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces on Sunday opened fire on an unidentified drone as it flew over its headquarters in Iraq's central province of Salahudin.

The anti-aircraft weapons of the Hashd Shaabi's 41st and 43rd brigades fired at the drone after they confirmed that the drone is unknown even for the Iraqi Joint Operations Command, according to an online statement by the Hashd Shaabi.

The statement did not say whether the drone was shot down or fled the area. However, a video clip published by a Hashd Shaabi website and local media showed a small plane flying far away in the sky while an anti-aircraft machinegun was firing a series of bursts.

On Wednesday, a force within the Hashd Shaabi known as al-Abbas Combat Division announced in a statement that it has shot down an unknown drone when it tried to attack the positions of the Iraqi forces in the eastern Diyala province.

In recent months, a string of explosions took place at arms depots belonging to the Hashd Shaabi in military camps in in central and western Iraq. The incidents were mainly believed to be attributed to attacks by unknown aircraft.

The Hashd Shaabi forces blamed the United States and Israel for the being behind the attacks.

The repeated incidents prompted the Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who is also commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces, to order in mid-August that all military flights, including reconnaissance aircraft, be prohibited from using the Iraqi airspace without his permission.