Iraq’s Erbil airport focused by explosives-laden drone

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No accidents, casualties reported within the assault that focused the navy part of the airport the place US-led worldwide coalition forces are deployed.

Erbil International Airport in northern Iraq has been hit by an explosives-laden drone, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) mentioned, an unprecedented escalation within the varieties of arms used to focus on US troopers based mostly there.

The navy part of the airport the place US-led worldwide coalition forces are deployed was focused within the assault on Wednesday.

“A drone charged with TNT targeted a coalition base at Arbil’s airport,” the regional inside ministry mentioned on Wednesday, including that nobody was harm within the blast however a constructing was broken.

An explosion was additionally heard near the world and an investigation into the incident has been launched, the ministry mentioned in an earlier assertion.

Turkey mentioned certainly one of its troopers was killed by rocket hearth at approximately the identical time at a navy base 50km (30 miles) east in Bashiqa.

There was no quick affirmation of any hyperlink between the 2 assaults and no declare of duty for the assault on the airport.

Witnesses reported a safety cordon had blocked all entry to the airport, including they noticed a plume of smoke rising from the world.

Some 20 bomb or rocket assaults have focused bases housing US troopers or diplomats in Iraq since US President Joe Biden took workplace on the finish of January.

Dozens extra happened over the previous 18 months, with Washington persistently blaming pro-Iran factions.

Iran mentioned in March that it was not behind the assaults.

Washington and Tehran are each allies of Baghdad however stay sharply at odds over Iran’s nuclear programme.

Recent escalation

On February 15, greater than a dozen rockets focused a navy complicated inside Erbil airport, killing an Iraqi civilian and a overseas contractor working with US-led troops.

The complicated hosts overseas troops deployed as a part of a US-led coalition serving to Iraq combat the ISIL (ISIS) group, a battle that Baghdad declared as received in late 2017.

Turkey has had troops within the space for greater than twenty years as a part of its bid to crush rebels from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), who’ve been combating towards the Turkish state since 1984.

Earlier on Wednesday, two bombs additionally exploded on roads the place Iraqi logistics convoys have been carrying gear for the worldwide coalition within the southern provinces of Dhi Qar and Diwaniyah, in keeping with safety sources.

Last week, the US dedicated to shifting all remaining fight forces from Iraq, though the 2 nations didn’t set a timeline for what can be the second withdrawal since the invasion of 2003.