Erbil governor calls on U.S.-led Coalition to further protect Kurdistan

Newly-elected governor of Erbil Omed Khoshnaw

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Erbil governor Omed Khoshnaw said on Wednesday the U.S. and Coalition forces should further protect the Kurdistan Region, following a drone attack on Erbil.

A bomb-laden drone targeted Erbil airport late on Tuesday, according to the Region’s counter-terrorism directorate, but caused no casualties or damages.

Coalition spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) impacted in the vicinity of Erbil air base, which houses U.S. and Coalition troops.

Governor Khoshnaw said the attack was a “cowardly terrorist act” but Erbil’s security and tranquility would not be undermined by such acts.

“Erbil is always attacked by terrorists because it is the center of political decisions,” he told reporters near Erbil airport early on Wednesday.

He called on Iraq and the U.S.-led Coalition forces to further protect the Region and Erbil.

“Erbil must be protected more because it is the center of decisions,” he noted.

No groups have claimed responsibility for the attacks, but armed groups that some Iraqi officials say are backed by Iran have claimed similar incidents.

U.S. officials blame Iran-backed militias for regular rocket attacks on U.S. facilities in Iraq, including near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

The attack comes a day after rockets and a drone targeted Ain al-Asad air base, which houses U.S. troops, and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

In April, a drone dropped explosives near the U.S. forces stationed at Erbil airport. That was the first known attack carried out by an unmanned aerial drone against U.S. forces in Erbil, amid a steady stream of rocket attacks on bases hosting U.S. forces and the embassy in Baghdad that Washington blames on Iran-backed militias.

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