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American surveillance drone crashes near Baghdad: Report

The undated photo shows an American surveillance drone, registered under the number "52178", which reportedly crashed northwest of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. (Photo via BurthaNews)

An American surveillance drone has crashed northwest of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, according to a report.

The Iraqi Arabic-language Burath news agency cited informed sources on Friday saying that the drone, registered under the number "52187," had probably crashed due to hacking or electronic jamming from an "unknown source."

The report said that the aircraft, which had fallen in a farming area, appeared undamaged. Iraqi authorities later transported the drone to an unspecified location.

No further details regarding the drone have been disclosed. American and Iraqi authorities have yet to confirm the incident.

The report comes nearly a month after Iraqi sources said that "unidentified drones" had attacked a base belonging to Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMU) in the Arab country’s Salahudin Province, killing one PMU member and injuring another four.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi later ordered an investigation into the incident.

A few days after the attack, the Arabic-language al-Ahd news website cited informed security sources saying that the Hashd al-Sha’abi positions were targeted by three Israeli Harop missiles fired from Israeli F-16 aircraft which had infiltrated the southeastern province of Anbar.

Western diplomats speaking to the Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat daily also confirmed the Israeli attack but attributed the assault to an Israeli F-35.

US-led anti-PMU push

The attack on the Hashd al-Sha’abi base comes as the United States has sought to pressure Baghdad against the PMU.

Israeli military authorities had also previously threatened to attack the anti-terrorist force.

The PMU, also known as Hashd al-Sha’abi, formed and joined forces with the Iraqi military in 2014 after the Daesh Takfiri terror group launched a campaign of bloodshed and destruction against the nation.

The combined push, reinforced by Iraq’s allies, including Iran, which has been lending military advisory support to the Iraqi military, led to Daesh’s expulsion in late 2017.

Washington, along with Tel Aviv, have often labeled Iraqi units operating under the PMU organization as being "Iran-led terrorists groups."

Iraqis have, nonetheless, sharply rejected the hostile stance against Hashd al-Sha’abi forces, describing it as a violation of the Arab country’s sovereignty.

Both Washington and Tel Aviv have for long been seeking to counter the emergence of a united front of forces, usually known as the "Resistance Axis", in the region.

The regional alliance gradually spanned the region while it countered Daesh and the US and its allies' interventions in the Middle East over the past years.

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