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The U.S. military unleashed an AC-130 gunship on an Iranian-backed terrorist group in Iraq this week after the group fired a ballistic missile at U.S. and coalition forces stationed at Al-Asad Airbase.
“On 21 Nov. an AC-130 gunship engaged individuals responsible for launching a missile attack on U.S. and Coalition personnel at Al Assad Airbase, Iraq,” U.S. Central Command said in a statement. “The gunship maintained visual confirmation of the individuals from the time of the launch to the time of engagement. This strike resulted in several enemy casualties.”
The missile attack resulted in multiple U.S. personnel being injured at the facility, as well as damage to infrastructure at the base.
A pentagon spokesperson said that the gunship was able to respond so quickly because it was already in the air when the attack happened.
“We were able to identify the point of origin of these attacks because an AC-130 was up already in the area and therefore was able to respond,” the spokesperson said. “They were able to take action because they saw the militants. They were able to keep an eye on the movement of these militants as they moved into their vehicles and that’s why they were able to respond.”
The U.S. did not specify which terrorist organization was behind the attack, only that it was backed by Iran.
U.S. forces throughout the region have been attacked at least 66 times in Iraq and Syria since October 17, ten days after Hamas launched an unprecedented terror attack against Israel, murdering 1,200 Israelis, wounding 5,300+, and kidnapping more than 240.
The AC-130 is one of the most feared aerial weapons in the U.S. arsenal as its equipped with a Precision Strike Package that includes a 30mm and 105mm cannon in addition to its Standoff Precision Guided Munitions, which includes GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs, GBU-69 Small Glide Munitions, AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, and AGM-176 Griffin missiles.
The gunship, commonly referred to as “the angel of death,” has the ability to travel at up to 420 mph and circle targets for hours while providing highly accurate fire support to forces on the ground.