BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:45 P.M.) – The U.S. military is testing a new air defense system at an Iraqi base in the western part of the country, Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen TV reported on Thursday.
The Al-Mayadeen report indicated that the central command of the American forces began testing the “Sea Ram” defense system at the ‘Ayn Al-Assad Airbase just hours after the American Patriot system was deployed to the base.
Al-Mayadeen quoted its correspondent as saying that it was noticed that the American Chinook helicopters had flown in the airspace of Baghdad to transport the new defense systems.
Furthermore, they quoted Iraqi sources as saying that the American forces at the ‘Ayn Al-Assad Airbase had already conducted tests of the Sea Ram.
This came hours after these forces deployed the U.S. Patriot air defense system to the American wing at the base in ‘Ayn Al-Assad Airbase, without the approval of the Iraqi official authorities.
U.S. President Donald Trump has said he has information indicating that Iran or its proxies are planning to carry out attacks on against the American forces in Iraq.
“If that happens, Iran will pay a very heavy price,” Trump tweeted.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have recently increased, following the announcement by the United States Department of Defense (Pentagon) of an airstrike near Baghdad International Airport, at the beginning of the year, which resulted in the killing of the commander of the Quds Force in the Revolutionary Guard, Major General Qasim Soleimani, and the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq, Abu Mehdi Al-Mohandes.
In response to this attack, Iran targeted a military base that included foreign and American forces in Iraq.