Iraq: US forces hit in rocket attack that kills contractor
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said he was outraged by the deadly raid
By Dana Taib Menmy in Erbil, Iraq*
A rocket attack in northern Iraq killed a contractor and wounded several others, including a US service member, on Monday, in the deadliest attack against a US target in the country in over almost a year.
The rockets hit inside and near a military airbase occupied by the US-led coalition at Erbil international airport.
Two US officials said the contractor who was killed was not American. The coalition said five other contractors were hurt, without elaborating.
A spokesperson from the Kurdish Regional Government’s health ministry said that one of the injured was in a critical condition.
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The Erbil security directorate was not available for comment at the time of writing, following a request by Middle East Eye.
A spokesperson from the Iraqi coalition said at least 14 rockets had struck three areas on Monday evening.
He added that the KRG’s interior ministry would conduct an investigation in partnership with coalition forces.
The attack, claimed by a little-known group that some Iraqi officials say has links with Iran, raises tension in the Middle East while Washington and Tehran explore a potential return to the Iran nuclear deal.
A group calling itself Saraya Awliya al-Dam claimed responsibility for the attack on the US-led base, saying it targeted the “American occupation” in Iraq. It provided no evidence for its claim of being behind the attack.