Rocket attack on US airbase in Iraq kills civilian contractor
A rocket attack on a US airbase in the Kurdish region of Iraq has killed one civilian contractor and injured eight other people in the first serious test of Joe Biden’s Iran policy.
A volley of approximately 14 rockets was launched at the base near the main city of Erbil’s airport late on Monday, which witnesses told local television appeared to come from the south.
Three landed inside the base while others fell on residential areas nearby, killing one person identified by a US military spokesperson as a foreign national, but not a US citizen, and injuring one US service member.
It was the most deadly attack in almost a year to hit US-led coalition forces deployed to fight Islamic State in Iraq, where tensions between the US, its Iraqi and Kurdish allies on one side and Iran-aligned militias on the other soared during Donald Trump’s presidency.
Former US president Donald Trump had said the death of US civilians would be a red line and provoke US escalation in Iraq, making Monday’s attack an early challenge for the Biden administration, which is seeking to revive the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers Trump scrapped in 2018.
“We are outraged by today’s rocket attack,” the secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said in a statement on Monday evening, vowing to “hold accountable those responsible”.
Read more of Bethan McKernan’s report here: Rocket attack on US airbase in Iraq kills civilian contractor
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