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Rocket attack in Erbil killed one and injured 9: coalition

  2021-02-16  | 
 Zhyan News Network
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – One civilian contractor was killed and a US service member was injured in a rocket attack on US-led forces in Erbil on Monday night (February 15), the US-led coalition in Iraq said.

The barrage of rockets targeted a military air base occupied by the US-led coalition at Erbil International Airport. Wayne Marotto, Spokesman for the US-led Coalition said five other contractors were hurt.

Marotto wrote on Twitter that 14 rockets of 107 mm kind have been launched wounding nine, including five civilian contractors and one US service member.

Saraya Awliya al-Dam, a Shi'a militia group with alleged ties to Iran claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they were able to precisely hit the targets with 24 rockets.

The US’s C-RAM counter rocket system and the coalition missiles failed to stop the rockets launched against al-Harir US military base, some 60 km northeast of Erbil, read a statement published on Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF, or Hashd al Shaabi) propaganda channels.

Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Masrour Barzani said Erbil and Washington will “coordinate closely in the investigation to identify the outlaws behind it.”

In a post on his official Twitter account, Barzani wrote that he spoke with the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi “on ways to cooperate and identify the outlaws behind this terror attack.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States is “outraged” by the attack.

“I have reached out to Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Masrour Barzani to discuss the incident and to pledge our support for all efforts to investigate and hold accountable those responsible,” according to a statement from the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Co-President of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Lauhr Talabany said those responsible for the attack must be held to account. "I strongly condemn the attacks on Hawler that have endangered the lives of our citizens and our security and call upon the relevant authorities to investigate these attacks and hold those responsible to account."

The Kurdistan Region President, Nechirvan Barzani in a statement called on the UN Security Council and the United Nations “to take the danger of this attack very seriously and work to eliminate the threat targeting the people of the Kurdistan Region by urging the Iraqi government to implement the Iraqi constitution, especially Article 140.”

Nechirvan Barzani said lack of coordination and the presence of outlawed armed forces led to the tensions in the region and this made the Kurdistan Region vulnerable to constant attacks.

Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Iraq, Hennis-Plasschaert spoke out on the attack on Tuesday morning, saying “We deplore the deadly rocket attack on Erbil. Such heinous, reckless acts pose grave threats to stability. Iraq must be shielded from (external) rivalries. We call for restraint and for close Baghdad-Erbil collaboration to bring culprits to justice.”

(Zhyan English)