Rockets strike Iraqi base where US troops are located, US defense official says
Six rockets landed near Erbil International Airport in the semiautonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq on Wednesday, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Interior of the Kurdistan Regional Government.Posted — Updated
A US defense official with direct knowledge of the latest reports told CNN initial indicators are that three rockets struck a base where US troops are located, with additional rockets hitting outside the base. There are no reports of US injuries or damage so far.
The US has some initial indications the rockets may have been larger than those typically used, but officials are still trying to confirm that. The defense official called this attack "troubling" because of the number of rockets involved and the possible use of larger-scale weapons.
The rockets were fired from the direction of Sheikh Amir, a small town in Nineveh province, which is under the control of a predominantly Shia paramilitary force, Hashad al Shabbi, according to the Kurdistan Regional Government. It said the rockets landed in a remote area without causing any casualties.
The Iraqi Defense Ministry released a statement adding: "On Wednesday evening, a terrorist group targeted Erbil Governorate with several missiles using a modified Kia four-wheel carrying a rocket launcher. It was ordered to arrest the security commander in charge of the area where the rockets were fired from, and an investigation was opened immediately."
Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq Masrour Barzani, strongly condemned the rocket attacks, tweeting, "The KRG will not tolerate any attempt to undermine Kurdistan's stability and our response will be robust. I have spoken to the Prime Minister of Iraq, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, on the importance of holding the perpetrators accountable."
An Iraqi former deputy prime minister, Hoshyar Zebari, tweeted: "Another escalation to disrupt security in Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan by the same groups who are attacking the US Embassy in Baghdad and its convoys. Actions is needed to stop it."
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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