An Erbil rocket attack struck a US-led Coalition Military Base near the Erbil International Airport in the Kurdish region of Iraq on Monday. One civilian contractor (not American) was killed; five others and one US service member were injured.
As with all news reports from that part of the world, there is conflicting information so far. It appears that there were 7 people total injured, according to the OIR spokesman, Col Wayne Marotto. There are also conflicting reports as to the number of rockets that struck the area.
The kind of rockets used by the Iranian militias are indirect fire, and often miss the target entirely, spraying the area and injuring people. Most of the groups that have sprung up in the last few years are said to be front groups for Iranian-backed militias.
An Iran-backed Shi’ite militia known as Saraya Awliya al-Dam (“Guardians of Blood”) claimed responsibility for the Erbil rocket attack. Both al-Dam and another Iranian militia, Ashab al Kahf, have reportedly stepped up their attacks (The Drive). These militias are backed by the IRGC – Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. Whether ot nor it was related to the Iranian threat against the US for the killing of Soleimani is unknown, but likely.
A US official stated that the rockets were 107 mm- which is the same size used in previous attacks. They stated the attack was launched about 8 km west of Erbil.
President Trump once said that any loss of life would provoke a response by the US. Biden has made no such statement, and it is a question as to what his response, if any, will be. Will he ignore it? Will he issue a strong statement?
It is unknown if the U.S. Centurion Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (C-RAM) systems, or any other defenses were used to knock down the rockets. There are systems such as those in Baghdad, but it is unknown if they were employed inside Erbil.
The attacks are said to have also injured a security guard at the Chinese Embassy in Erbil.
One person on the Twitter feed stated:
“If Commander Trump had been there, these militias would not have dared to tamper with people’s lives.” @hrrEJL3mmvrzdCC
Featured photo: Screenshot from @BarzanSadiq video
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