One building damaged, no casualties reported in attack on Erbil airport
By Ghassan Adnan and
Updated April 14, 2021 5:56 pm ET
Erbil airport in northern Iraq as seen in 2014.
Photo: joel saget/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
No casualties were reported in the attack on the airport in Erbil, which doubles as a base for U.S. troops, according to the interior ministry of the Kurdistan Regional Government and the U.S.-led military coalition in Iraq.
The attack on the military section of the airport was carried out by a drone carrying explosives, according to a statement from the interior ministry. The drone landed on a storage hangar at the air base, causing a fire that was later extinguished, according to the U.S.-led coalition.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Sabreen, a news agency that supports Iranian-backed paramilitary groups, shared news of the attack.
It follows months of tensions between the U.S. and Iran, whose allied militias in Iraq have launched a series of attacks on U.S. bases in the country.
An attack on the Erbil airport in February killed a contractor working for U.S. forces.
A pro-Iranian militia group claimed responsibility. In retaliation for that attack, the U.S. launched airstrikes on Iran-allied militant groups in Syria.
“It seems the same #militia who targeted the airport two months ago are at it again. This is a clear & dangerous escalation,” tweeted Iraq’s former foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari.
A separate rocket attack on a Turkish military base in northern Iraq on Wednesday killed a Turkish service member, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said. No one claimed responsibility for the attack.
The attacks come as the Biden administration is attempting to re-engage Iran, sending officials to another round of indirect talks in Vienna this week aimed at reviving the 2015 agreement that limits Iran’s nuclear capabilities.
But an apparent attack on Iran’s main nuclear facility has threatened to derail those talks. Iran accused Israel of carrying out an act of sabotage at the Natanz nuclear facility on Sunday. Israeli media reported that the attack was carried out by the nation’s Mossad intelligence agency, though Israeli officials declined to comment.
Following the attack on the nuclear facility, Iran said it would begin enriching uranium to 60% for the first time.
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