Explosives-laden drone targets US forces at Iraq's Erbil airport

Erbil International Airport vicinity was also hit by a barrage of rockets in February. (AFP/File)
Erbil International Airport vicinity was also hit by a barrage of rockets in February. (AFP/File)
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Updated 15 April 2021

Explosives-laden drone targets US forces at Iraq's Erbil airport

Explosives-laden drone targets US forces at Iraq's Erbil airport
  • Kurdish region officials say drone was carrying TNT which it used to target the US forces
  • Erbil International Airport vicinity was also hit by a barrage of rockets in February

ERBIL: A drone dropped explosives near US forces stationed at Erbil airport in northern Iraq late on Wednesday, Kurdish officials said, with no immediate reports of casualties.
It was the first known attack carried out by an unmanned aerial drone against US forces in Erbil, amid a steady stream of rocket attacks on bases hosting US forces and the embassy in Baghdad that Washington blames on Iran-backed militias.
The interior ministry of the autonomous Kurdistan regional government, based in Erbil, said in a statement the drone was carrying TNT which it used to target the US forces. It said no one was hurt in the attack.
A group that Western and some Iraqi officials say is aligned with Iran praised the attack, but did not explicitly claim it.
A barrage of rockets hit the same US-led military base in the Erbil International Airport vicinity in February, killing a non-American contractor working with the US military.
Shortly before Wednesday's attack in Erbil, at least two rockets landed on and near a base to the west of the city that hosts Turkish forces, Iraqi security officials said.
Sirens at the US consulate in Erbil blared during the airport attack, witnesses said.
Turkey also has troops in Iraq both as part of a NATO contingent and a force that has attacked Kurdish separatist militants in the north.
The Iran-backed militias oppose both the presence of the United States and Turkey and demand a full withdrawal of all foreign troops.
The United States has sometimes responded with air strikes against Iran-aligned militias including on the Iraqi-Syrian border.