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Drones target northern Iraqi airport after 2 month lull

BAGHDAD

Explosives-laden drones targeted Irbil international airport in northern Iraq late Saturday where US-led coalition troops are stationed with no reports of casualties, consistent with security forces and officials in Kurdish-run region.

Kurdistan’s Counter-Terrorism Service said a minimum of two drones carrying explosives targeted the airport during a statement. It said the attack didn’t cause any casualties.

Lawk Ghafuri, spokesman for the semi-autonomous northern region, said the explosives struck outside of the airport and dismissed reports the attack had impacted flights. He said the airport remained open and an investigation was ongoing by Kurdish authorities.

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map of Iraq

The attack is that the first following a two-month lull in drone and rocket attacks to focus on the US presence in Baghdad and military bases across Iraq. On July 8, rockets landed in and around the heavily fortified Green Zone within the Iraqi capital Baghdad, which houses the US Embassy. It caused material damage but no casualties.

Until recently the attacks were a frequent occurrence. The US has blamed Iran-backed militias for attacks. More recently, the attacks became more sophisticated, with militants using drones rather than Katyusha rockets.

US forces will end their mission in Iraq by the top of this year, but will still train and advise the Iraqi military. There are currently 2,500 US troops in Iraq helping local forces counter what remains of the Daesh group.

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