By John Davison and Ahmed Rasheed
ERBIL (Reuters) – A rocket assault at a U.S.-led army base in Kurdish northern Iraq on Monday killed a civilian contractor and wounded 5 different individuals together with a U.S. service member, in accordance with preliminary experiences, the U.S. coalition in Iraq mentioned.
It was essentially the most lethal assault to hit U.S.-led forces for nearly a 12 months in Iraq, the place tensions have escalated between U.S. forces, their Iraqi and Kurdish allies on one facet and Iran-aligned militias on the opposite.
A coalition spokesman mentioned on Twitter the assault hit coalition forces within the Kurdish regional capital of Erbil, and that extra particulars would observe.
Kurdish safety sources mentioned at the least three rockets landed close to Erbil Worldwide Airport within the autonomous area late at night time. Reuters reporters heard a number of loud explosions and noticed a hearth get away close to the airport.
U.S. troops occupy a army base adjoining to the civilian airport.
An announcement from the Kurdish inside ministry mentioned numerous rockets have been fired in direction of Erbil and its outskirts round 9:30 p.m. native time and a few individuals have been wounded, however it provided no additional particulars.
A bunch calling itself Saraya Awliya al-Dam claimed duty for the assault on the U.S.-led base, saying it focused the “American occupation” in Iraq. It supplied no proof for its declare.
Teams that some Iraqi officers say have hyperlinks with Iran have claimed a collection of rocket and roadside assaults in opposition to coalition forces, contractors working for the coalition and U.S. installations together with the embassy in Baghdad in latest months.
The final lethal assault to focus on the coalition killed one British and two American personnel in March final 12 months.
Pressure between america and Iran despatched the Center East to the sting of a full-scale confrontation in January 2020 after a U.S. drone strike killed Iranian army mastermind Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad.
(Reporting by John Davison in Erbil, Ahmed Rasheed in Baghdad; Modifying by Hugh Lawson, Dan Grebler, Howard Goller and Sonya Hepinstall)
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