Security forces identified perpetrators responsible for Erbil rocket attack: PM  

KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani speaks during a ceremony to open Rovia-Gopal road which connects Erbil to Duhok, October 20, 2020. (Anadolu Agency)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Masrour Barzani said on Thursday that the security forces had been able to identify perpetrators responsible for the rocket attack on Erbil city last week.

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.

“The security forces and all other sides immediately began to find out perpetrators carried out the attack on Erbil city. They obtained hints and gathered information about those sides that were behind that terrorist act,” Barzani said during a ceremony held for the opening of 150-meter highway in Erbil.

“They [investigations] had good results. The information is given to the Coalition and Iraqi prime minister [Mustafa al-Kadhimi] for investigations,” he added.

“… I announce that we were able to identify the party that carried out the attack.”

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”.

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.

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