Rocket attack in Iraq kills a USA military contractor

Rocket attack in Iraq kills a USA military contractor

At least three rockets hit areas between the civilian airport in the semi-autonomous Kurdish-run region and the nearby base hosting U.S. troops at 9:30 p.m.

The U.S. has attributed the attacks to Shiite militias, which are backed by Iran and have pushed for the withdrawal of American troops, some 2,500 of which assist Iraqi security forces battling ISIS.

People inspect the area where one of the fired rockets was hit at Bahtiyari neighborhood on Monday in Erbil, Iraq.

It's the first time in 2 months that USA installations have been targeted in Iraq.

Attacks targeting Irbil airport are rare, with Monday's rockets the first to strike the area in five months.

It was the most deadly attack to hit USA -led forces for nearly a year in Iraq, where tensions have escalated between Iraqi and Kurdish allies of Coalition forces on one side and Iran-aligned militias on the other. Tensions soared after a Washington-directed drone strike that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani and powerful Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis previous year.

At least two civilians were also wounded and the rockets damaged cars and other property, security officials said, without providing more details.

US forces have been significantly reduced in Iraq to 2,500 personnel and no longer partake in combat missions with Iraqi forces in ongoing operations against the Islamic State group.

Winter Storm Warning Issued for All of South Louisiana
These temperatures will become life threatening to people or animals outside without adequate warmth or shelter. The exact amounts of which type of precipitation we will get obviously can't be determined this early.

The commercial airport shares space with a base for US and other anti-Islamic State coalition troops.

Iran said Tuesday it opposed any acts that harmed Iraq's security and denied suggestions by some Iraqi officials that it had any link to a little-known group that has claimed responsibility for an attack on US -led forces in the country."Iran considers Iraq's stability".

Broken glass is seen at the Bright Castle Motors building on Feb 15, 2021.

The group claimed responsibility last August for two bombings targeting U.S. contractor convoys carrying military equipment.

The attack was claimed online by a shadowy group calling itself "Awliyaa al-Dam", or "Guardians of Blood". The official position of President Joe Biden is not yet clear.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Monday for an investigation into a rocket attack on an airbase in Iraq's Kurdistan region and promised to "hold accountable those responsible". Mr Blinken later condemned the attack.

Under former US President Donald Trump, Washington had vowed that the killing of an American national in such a rocket attack would prompt a mass bombing campaign in Iraq, although Iraqi officials are unsure if the Biden administration would stick to the policy.

In a statement, the Kurdistan region's interior ministry confirmed "several rockets" had hit the city and said security agencies had launched a "detailed investigation", urging civilians to stay home until further notice. The embassy in Baghdad continues to operate with the ambassador and a small number of key staff.

Related Articles