ERBIL – A rocket attack on a U.S.-led military base in Kurdish northern Iraq on Monday killed a civilian contractor and injured five other people, including a U.S. service member, the U.S. coalition in Iraq said.
It was the deadliest attack to hit US-led forces in nearly a year in Iraq, with tensions escalating between US forces, their Iraqi and Kurdish allies on the one hand and Iran-adapted militias on the other.
“We are furious at today’s rocket attacks in the Iraqi Kurdistan region,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement on Monday night. “We express our condolences to the loved ones of the civilian entrepreneur who was killed in this attack and the innocent Iraqi people and their families who are suffering from these ruthless acts of violence. I have reached out to the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government Masrour Barzani to discuss the incident and to give our support to all efforts to investigate and hold those responsible accountable.
A coalition spokesman said on Twitter that the attack hit coalition forces in the Kurdish regional capital Erbil.
Kurdish security sources said at least three rockets landed near Erbil International Airport in the autonomous region late at night. Reuters reporters heard several powerful explosions and saw a fire break out near the airport.
U.S. troops occupy a military base next to the civilian airport.
A statement from the Kurdish Interior Ministry said a number of rockets were fired at Erbil and its outskirts around 1 p.m. 9.30pm local time and some people were injured but it gave no further details.
The latest deadly attack on the coalition killed a British and two American staff in March last year.
Abigail Williams the contribution.
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