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Rockets kill civilian contractor, injure US service member, others in Erbil, IraqExBulletin




People inspect the area where one of the rockets fired was hit on Monday in the Bahtiyari neighborhood of Erbil, Iraq. Yunus Keles / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images .

rocker legend Yunus Keles / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

People inspect the area where one of the rockets fired was hit on Monday in the Bahtiyari neighborhood of Erbil, Iraq.

Yunus Keles / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A civilian contractor died and a US service member and five other contractors were injured in an incident at a base used by the US-led coalition in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil.

Coalition spokesman in Iraq Col. Wayne Marotto tweeted that the incident was due to indirect fire and more information would follow. He did not identify the nationality of the entrepreneurs.

The attack hit the town of Erbil overnight, people heard explosions and sirens there. Local media reported that rockets fell in several areas in and around the city and that several people were treated for injuries in hospital.

The identity of the attackers was not immediately clear, and U.S. forces are often targeted by forces such as ISIS, but U.S. officials, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, blamed the groups backed by the IS. Iran for previous strikes against US forces in recent years.

Tensions between Iran and the United States took place on Iraqi soil.

In January of last year, Iran’s top commander, Major General Qassem Soleimani, was killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad, with the Iraqi official known as Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis considered as close to Iran. Pompeo then spoke of the importance of a policy of “real deterrence” against Iran. In the process, Iran retaliated with a barrage of missiles targeting US soldiers at the Ain Al Asad base in western Iraq. None were killed but many were later diagnosed with brain damage.

In recent months, attacks on U.S. forces have become less frequent, but analysts and diplomats have suggested Iran may now seek to test President Biden’s administration in Washington.

The number of American troops in Iraq has been reduced, but there are still about 2,500 troops here.

Iraqi officials immediately expressed their outrage. Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi called in a statement for an investigation into the attack. President Barham Saleh tweeted that targeting Erbil was a serious escalation and undermined efforts to keep the Iraqi people safe.

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