Updated Feb 16, 2021 - World

Deadly rocket attack on U.S.-led military base in Iraq

People inspect the area where one of the fired rockets was hit at Bahtiyari neighborhood on February 15
The scene where one of the fired rockets was hit at Bahtiyari neighborhood on in Erbil, Iraq, on Monday. Photo: Yunus Keles/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he's "outraged" by a rocket attack on a U.S.-led military base in northern Iraq that killed a contractor and wounded six others — including an American service member on Monday.

Why it matters: Although it's unclear who carried out the attack on the usually peaceful Kurdish city of Erbil, it comes amid heightened tensions over the threat of Iran-backed militias against U.S. targets in Iraq, per the New York Times.

  • The militias have previously been blamed for earlier attacks in Iraq.

Details: A barrage of rockets were fired into residential areas of Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, during the attack, with one landing near the Chinese Consulate, NYT reports.

  • Blinken said initial reports "indicate that the attacks killed one civilian contractor and injured several members of the Coalition, including one American service member and several American contractors."
  • He said he had reached out to Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Masrour Barzani "to discuss the incident and to pledge our support for all efforts to investigate and hold accountable those responsible."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details on the attack.

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