France condemns April 14 attacks in Erbil, Nineveh
Security forces are deployed after a drone attack in Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq, April 15,2021. Photo by Zhyan News Network
Zhyan News Network
SULAIMANI – France strongly condemned TNT-laden drone and rocket attacks targeting US and Turkish military bases in Erbil and Nineveh governorate late on Wednesday (April 15), France’ foreign ministry said in a statement.
A Turkish soldier was killed and at least a 12-year old girl was wounded after a rockets fell inside a Turkish military base and two other outside it including one fell in a house in a village near Bashiqa in Nineveh governorate late on Wednesday. A TNT-drone also exploded near a base housing the US troops adjacent to the Erbil International Airport without causing casualties.
A group that Western and some Iraqi officials say is aligned with Iran praised the attack, but did not explicitly claim it. Rocket attacks are mostly claimed by shadowy militia groups that the US and its western allies attributed to the Iran-backed militia groups.
“It [France] reiterates its attachment to the sovereignty and integrity of Iraq as well as to the stability of the autonomous region of Kurdistan,” France’s Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
“It is important stressing it the country would continue its anti-Islamic State (ISIS) mission in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.
A barrage of rockets hit the same US-led military base in the Erbil International Airport vicinity in February, killing a non-American contractor working with the US military.
Turkey also has troops in Iraq both as part of a NATO mission and a force that fight the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Kurdistan Region’s borderlands.
The Iran-backed militias oppose both the presence of the United States and Turkey and demand a full withdrawal of all foreign troops.
The US has sometimes responded with air strikes against Iran-aligned militias including on the Iraqi-Syrian border.
An air strike ordered by former US president Donald Trump that killed Iran’s top commander Qassem Soleimani in January 2020 sent the region to the brink of a full-scale conflict.
Two previous rocket attacks hit Erbil in January last year and February this year, mostly likely aimed for the US troops.
Several Kurdish, Iraqi and foreign officials and leaders denounced the attacks.
“I condemn the cowardly attack on coalition forces stationed in Erbil, and Turkish forces in Bashiqa last night,” Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Deputy Prime Minister said on Thursday.
“The Government and people of the Kurdistan Region remain appreciative and in solidarity with coalition forces who are partners with us in our ongoing war on terrorism.”
Spokesperson for the US Department of State Ned Price said that he was “outraged by reports of attacks in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.”
“The Iraqi people have suffered for far too long from this kind of violence and violation of their sovereignty,” he tweeted.