US expresses outrage over Erbil rocket attack as investigation gets underway
Iraqi security sources in Baghdad told CNN that they are investigating the militia’s claim. Iran has denied involvement.
“As always, the President and Administration of the United States reserves the right to respond to the time and manner of our choosing, but we will wait for the earliest conclusion before taking any additional steps.” Interacted with reporters at the White House on Tuesday.
A civilian contractor was killed and an American service member and several American contractors were injured when rocket fire flew over coalition forces. The attack could have complicated the Biden administration’s alleged plans to return to Iran’s nuclear deal by the time Tehran began to comply with the deal.
An Iranian-backed Shia militant group called “The Guardian of the Blood Brigade” claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement, but did not provide evidence of its role in the incident.
The group’s statement said that American hegemony would not be safe from any inch of our homeland and attack in Kurdistan, where we promise we would conduct other qualitative operations. The group has claimed responsibility for other small attacks targeting US troops in Baghdad and areas near northern Iraq in August.
When asked about Iranian responsibility, State Department spokesman Ned Price said that the US is “not moving forward with the investigation that is going on. We take it incredibly seriously. We are going to investigate these attacks Are supporting Iraqi partners in their efforts, whether they were operated by Iran or “Iran-backed forces”.
On Tuesday, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh denied any connection to Monday’s attacks in Erbil. According to Iran’s official news agency Mehr, “After these rumors were strongly dismissed, the suspected attempt to present it to Iran was also strongly condemned.”
An American official said that the US and Iraqi personnel have now reached the rocket attack launch site. Troops found a mobile launcher with several rocket launchers on the back of the truck, as well as a fixed launcher. The officer said he also found six impermeable rockets.
The official said that by calculating the trajectory of the incoming rockets, the US was able to locate the launch site and the aircraft was overbound “fairly quickly”. The US immediately pointed Iraqi forces to the location and then sent in its own troops.
The US military is looking at launchers and rockets to learn what she can learn about the group behind the attack, said the officer, who said the US would follow the standard process of evaluating the evidence and then decide how to proceed .
Psaki expressed condolences for the famous call between the slain contractor and the US secretaries of state and defense and Iraqi and Kurdish officials. He said the administration would make diplomacy a “priority” as it prepares a response.
Tuesday’s expressions about the attack were made by Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday evening. Blinken used the statement to “extend condolences to innocent Iraqi people and their families who are suffering these brutal acts of violence.”
He spoke to Iraqi Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masroor Barzani on Monday and to Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Qadimi according to the State Department on Tuesday morning.
In a readout of Blinken’s call with Kadimi, the State Department said, “The Secretary discussed his call with Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Masroor Barzani and called on Prime Minister Kadimi to address violent extremists with the regional government Encouraged to work together. They discussed efforts. Groups responsible for yesterday’s attacks at the government’s invitation to fight ISIS, as well as the responsibility and commitment to the security of American and coalition personnel in Iraq To recognize and hold. “
CNN’s Michael Conte, Nicholas Neville, Mohammad Taufiq and Muwafaq Mohammed contributed to this report.