U.S. ‘outraged’ by Erbil rocket attack, Blinken says

Secretary of State Antony Blinken takes questions during his first press briefing, January 27, 2021. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States is “outraged” by a rocket attack late on Monday in the Kurdistan Region that reportedly killed a civilian contractor of the Coalition Forces.

At least 10 rockets said to have been fired toward Erbil and areas around the city at 09:30 p.m. on Monday. Some of the rockets landed in Erbil international airport, where U.S.-led Coalition troops are stationed.

Spokesman of Coalition forces Col. Colonel Wayne Marotto said in a tweet that initial reports indicated that “Indirect Fire” landed on the Coalition forces in Erbil, wounding five civil contractors and one U.S. service member.

“We are outrage by today’s rocket attack in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region,” Blinken said in a statement late on Monday, expressing condolence to families of the civilian contractor killed in the attack.

He also offered condolence to the Kurdish people and their families suffering “these ruthless acts of violence”.

“I have reached out to Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Masrour Barzani to discuss the incident and to pledge our support for all efforts to investigate and hold accountable those responsible,” he added.

The KRG premier said in a tweet that they had agreed coordinate closely in the investigation to identify the outlaws behind the attack.

The Kurdistan Region’s health ministry said three people including a guard of one of the consulates were wounded in the attack.

On Sept. 30, six Katyusha rockets fell near Erbil airport, an attack which the Kurdistan’s counterterrorism service blamed on Iran-backed Iraqi Shia militia groups.

*This story was updated at 08:46 a.m. EBL time 

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