The US Coalition said that a rocket attack on American troops in northern Iraq killed a civilian-military contractor and injured a service member. On Monday, the rockets landed in and around the military airbase operated by the coalition forces at Erbil International Airport.
On Tuesday, the spokesperson of the coalition said that the dead military contractor was not an American citizen. He further added that the 107 mm rockets landed in the base but refrained from giving any further details regarding the deadly attack.
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Among the other nine people hurt in the attack, eight were civilian military contractors and a US Service member. Reuters reported that the injured soldier had a concussion. A little-known group accepted the responsibility of the attack, which Baghdad maintained is linked to Tehran. Experts suggest that the development is likely to escalate tensions between Iran and the US amid hopes for rejoining the historic Iran nuclear deal.
Besides, the attack comes three days ahead of Popo Franci’s scheduled visit to the country, which also due to includes the capital of Iraq’s Kurdish autonomous region, Erbil. In response to the rocket attack, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the deadly strike and maintained that Washington was outraged.
In recent weeks, powerful militia groups linked with Tehran and Baghdad have stepped up their attacks against the US troops, including an attack on the American embassy in Iraq and a drone strike on Saudi Arabia’s airport. Even though the incumbent Iraqi government has sided with Washington, he has failed to control the militia groups. However, most of the attacks resulted in no causalities, experts suggest that these have kept up the pressure on the US and allies in the early days of Biden’s presidency.
This comes as Biden is weighing a return to the nuclear pact brokered by the Obama administration, which the former president Trump abandoned three years ago and reimposed sanctions. In response, Tehran has maintained it will resume its compliance with the deal if the White House lifts the sanctions.
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