Deadly drone strike on Iraqi military base sparks outrage and vows of retaliation

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Hashd Shaabi Forces

20th April 2024 – (Baghdad) An unknown drone force launched a deadly assault on Camp Kalsu, a significant military installation in Iraq’s Babil province, causing casualties and considerable material damage. The attack, which occurred in the early hours of Saturday, resulted in the death of one Hashd Shaabi fighter and injuries to seven others, including two Iraqi soldiers, according to a source from the Iraqi Interior Ministry.

Camp Kalsu, situated in the Mahawil area of northern Babil, is a strategic compound that accommodates units of the Iraqi army, federal police, and the Hashd Shaabi forces. The drone strikes targeted this heavily fortified site, igniting a vast fire and wreaking havoc on the military assets stationed there.

The impact of the strike was immediate and severe, with initial reports confirming one fatality and multiple injuries. Emergency services, including ambulances and fire-fighting teams, were swiftly mobilised to the scene as they fought to control the blaze and provide medical aid to the wounded. The source warned that the death toll might rise as the situation unfolds.

As of now, the Iraqi government has not issued an official statement regarding the attack. However, the Hashd Shaabi Forces, a coalition of predominantly Shiite militias some of which are backed by Iran, confirmed that an investigative team had been dispatched to the site. They promised that further details would be forthcoming.

In a defiant response to the attack, Abu Alaa al-Walai, Secretary-General of the Sayyid al-Shuhada Brigades — a faction within the Hashd Shaabi — declared in an online statement that the perpetrators would face retaliation once the ongoing investigation concludes. He described the drone strike as a “sinful attack” on the militia base, indicating the tension and potential for further conflict in the region. This incident marks another volatile chapter in Iraq’s complex security landscape, highlighting the fragile balance of power and the ever-present risk of military escalation.