Rocket attacks struck US-led Coalition forces in Erbil, Iraq on Monday, killing one civilian contractor, killing one and injuring six – including an American service member.
Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto confirmed the attack Monday afternoon in tweet: “Initial reports that Indirect Fire landed on Coalition Forces in Erbil tonight. There was 1 civilian contractor killed, 5 civilian contractors injured and 1 US service member injured. More information to follow.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken released a statement late Monday saying, “We are outraged by today’s rocket attack in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. Initial reports indicate that the attacks killed one civilian contractor and injured several members of the Coalition, including one American service member and several American contractors.”
“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,” Blinken added.
CNN correspondent Oren Liebermann said four of the five injured civilian contractors are American. One civilian contractor injured and another killed are not Americans, Liebermann said, citing a defense official. Several other reporters tweeted matching information.
BBC journalist Nafiseh Kohnavard posted a video purported to be a U.S. military siren during the attack.
Videos on social media showed smoke plumes after the rocket attack.
The attack took place in the area of the Erbil International Airport, which is immediately near a U.S. consulate among other diplomatic posts, and near a military base housing U.S. troops.
Helicopters could be heard in other video after the attack.
Erbil is the capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region and located in northern Iraq.
The Kurdistan Regional Government also released a statement confirming, “rockets directed toward Erbil and its surroundings hit several locations” and “several people were injured as a result of these rocket attacks.”
Video also shows rockets striking residential areas and commercial districts.