Alright, let’s revisit some recent history. We’re talking about a US Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone, known to its friends and foes alike as the “terrorist hunter,” reportedly shot down in the gritty skies of northern Iraq on January 18, 2024.

This isn’t your everyday drone mishap; it was the first Reaper downed this year, stirring up more than just desert dust.

The MQ-9, a machine that’s been the grim reaper for terrorists far and wide, likely met its match against an Iranian surface-to-air missile (SAM) fired by an Iraqi group.

Crashing near Balad Air Base, the remains of this bird were scooped up by Iraqi Security Forces.

And here’s the kicker: The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an Iran-backed group of Iraqi militias, is thumping its chest over this, claiming they bagged the Reaper with a SAM.

The Threat of Surface-to-Air Missiles

Now, these Iraqi militias aren’t playing with toy guns; they’re reportedly armed with Iranian-made “358” surface-to-air missiles.

And Uncle Sam’s own military brass has confirmed this.

In what seems like a tit-for-tat, the US turned up the heat on these militias with a rare drone strike in Baghdad, taking out a leader of one of these Iranian-backed groups.