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

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

ERBIL — A rocket attack at a U.S.-led military base in Kurdish northern Iraq on Monday killed a civilian contractor and wounded five other people including a U.S. service member, the U.S. coalition in Iraq said.

It was the most deadly attack to hit U.S.-led forces for almost a year in Iraq, where tensions have escalated between U.S. forces, their Iraqi and Kurdish allies on one side and Iran-aligned militias on the other.

“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.

A coalition spokesman said on Twitter the attack hit coalition forces in the Kurdish regional capital of Erbil.

Kurdish security sources said at least three rockets landed near Erbil International Airport in the autonomous region late at night. Reuters reporters heard several loud explosions and saw a fire break out near the airport.

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 last year.

Abigail Williams contributed.

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