KRG PM, French foreign minister discuss Erbil rocket attack

File – KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani speaks on phone (PM Twitter account)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Kurdistan Region’s Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian discussed the recent rocket attack on Erbil in a phone call on Thursday, the premier said.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) prime minister said in a tweet that he had also discussed with the French foreign minister the ongoing investigation into the rocket attack.

“Pleasure speaking today with my friend @JY_LeDrian. We discussed the recent terror attack on Erbil and the ongoing investigation. We very much value the strong and longstanding friendship between the peoples of Kurdistan and France,” Barzani tweeted.

Nearly 14 rockets were launched toward Erbil city on February 15, according to the U.S.-led Coalition forces. Three of the rockets impacted within a base hosting Coalition troops near Erbil international airport.

Coalition Spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said the attack killed a civilian contractor and wounded nine others, including a U.S. service member.

The attack also killed two civilians and wounded seven others, according to health officials in the Region.

In a joint statement, foreign ministers of France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the U.S. denounced “in the strongest terms” the rocket attack.

The ministers said they would support the Iraqi government’s investigation into the attack with “a view to holding accountable those responsible”.

“We are united in our view that attacks on U.S. and Coalition personnel and facilities will not be tolerated,” they said.

A group calling itself “Avengers of Blood”, or Saraya Awliya al-Dam, claimed responsibility for the rocket attack on Erbil in a statement on social media, saying it targeted “American occupation” and that it was “the beginning of the game”.

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