On Monday evening, a rocket attack was made against US forces stationed in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, which resulted in the death of a civilian contracted while injuring one US serviceman. The rockets concerned landed in and around Erbil International Airport, where US-led coalition forces use as a military air base.
On Tuesday, a coalition spokesman indicated on Twitter that 107 mm rockets landed inside the base. Furthermore, the civilian contractor killed was not a US citizen, however, out of the nine people injured by the blasts, one of them was a US serviceman, whose name was not given by the spokesman. An anonymous US official stated that the US serviceman had concussions.
Responsibility for the attack was claimed by a lesser-known group which, according to Iraqi officials, has links with Iran, thus raising tensions at a time when the US and Iran try to find some sort of an agreement with regards to the JCPOA. The attack also came three weeks prior to Pope Francis’ planned visit to Iraq, which is due to include Erbil.
Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, defined the attack as an outrage. Furthermore, in the statement, Blinken stated he had contacted the Prime Minister of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) Masrour Barzani and pledged the US’ support to investigate and find those responsible.