On Monday, at a time when Shia groups in Iraq and Iran are staging large anti-American rallies to commemorate the Jan.3rd 2020 killing of IRGC General Qassem Soleimani, a pair of armed drones were sent against a military base in Iraq which hosts US forces.
"Two armed drones were shot down as they approached an Iraqi military base hosting US forces near Baghdad’s international airport, Iraqi security sources said, adding that nobody was hurt in the incident," Al Jazeera reports. It happened at Camp Victory not far from the city's international airport.
A US official called it "a dangerous attack on a civilian airport," given the nearby presence of civilian aviation. The official said the base's defense system thwarted "two fixed-wing suicide drones" that were inbound, but "they were shot down without incident."
But interestingly one of the drones was marked with the words "Soleimani's revenge", according to the report:
Footage provided by the coalition showed what the official said was debris of two fixed-wing drones destroyed in the attack, with writing clearly visible on the wing of one drone reading "Soleimani’s revenge".
Correction & more pix— Nafiseh Kohnavard (@nafisehkBBC) January 3, 2022
Two “Suicide Drones” aimed at Baghdad airport, housing US-led coalition, were shot down by US def system, C-RAM at around 0430 this morning.
On the wings it’s written: “Leader’s revenge” & “Soleimani’s revenge” pic.twitter.com/mdUAOuG4mc
Though there were no immediate claims of responsibility, the obvious suspected groups include factions under Iraq's pro-Iran Popular Mobilization Forces.
Alongside Soleimani, the Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis also lost his life on that day in the US drone attack two years ago, along with others in the caravan which was driving away from Baghdad International Airport at the time.
Thousands March towards the Bagdad Airport in Iraq,near the site of Assassination to mark the second Aniversary of General Qasem soleimani and commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis . Both were killed along with associates in a Drone attack by United States.— Syed Shahriyar (@shahriyarsyed1) January 3, 2022
In Tehran on Monday, Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi vowed a "martyr's revenge" during a televised address on the second anniversary of Soleimani's death.
"If Trump and (former secretary of state Mike) Pompeo are not tried in a fair court for the criminal act of assassinating General Soleimani, Muslims will take our martyr's revenge," Raisi said according to Reuters. Given this, and the heightened passions and tensions, it's likely there will be more small scale attacks to come targeting remaining US forces in Iraq this week.