Published On: Tue, Feb 16th, 2021

Iraq rocket attack kills contractor, wounds U.S. service member

A civilian contractor was killed and five others were wounded in a rocket attack Monday at a U.S.-led military base in Kurdish northern Iraq that also left a U.S. service member with a concussion, according to U.S. officials.

The blast in Erbil was the most deadly attack to hit U.S.-led forces in Iraq for almost a year.

The contractor who was killed was not an American, and of the wounded civilians, four are from the U.S. and one is from Turkey.

“We are outraged by today’s rocket attack in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement Monday night. “We express our condolences to the loved ones of the civilian contractor killed in this attack, and to the innocent Iraqi people and their families who are suffering these ruthless acts of violence. I have reached out to Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Masrour Barzani to discuss the incident and to pledge our support for all efforts to investigate and hold accountable those responsible.

The central government in Baghdad said it was forming a committee with the Kurdistan Regional Government to investigate the attack because it believes the rockets were launched from an area that’s not under the control of the Kurds.

Kurdish security sources said at least three rockets landed near Erbil International Airport in the autonomous region late at night.

U.S. troops occupy a military base adjacent to the civilian airport.

A statement from the Kurdish interior ministry said a number of rockets were fired toward Erbil and its outskirts around 9:30 p.m. local time and some people were wounded, but it offered no further details.

The last deadly attack to target the coalition killed one British and two American personnel in March.

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