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12 Mar, 2022 23:50

Multiple rockets land near US consulate in Iraq – reports

Videos have emerged online purporting to show rockets raining down on Erbil, Iraq, which hosts a US consulate
Multiple rockets land near US consulate in Iraq – reports

Several rockets have reportedly struck an area in Erbil, northern Iraq, near a US diplomatic compound. Erbil is the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

Footage shared online purports to show a series of explosions rocking the area. The apparent strike ignited several fires, and smoke could be seen billowing from the scene.

AP reported, citing Iraqi officials, that at least 12 missiles were launched towards the area. They claimed that several of them struck the American consulate. However, US officials reportedly said that there was no material damage as a result of the attack. 

Reports in local media suggested the rockets had damaged the offices of Kurdistan 24 TV station, located near the consulate.

The incident did not result in any casualties, Kurdistani Health Minister Saman Barzanji told local media, as quoted by Reuters. Politico’s Paul McLeary also reported, citing a US defense official, that there have not been any casualties among American personnel.

No one has claimed responsibility for the incident so far. Kurdistan-based Rudaw network reported that the missiles “originated from outside the Kurdistan region and Iraq,” citing the regional counter-terrorism authority.

Erbil province is home to a major US military facility, the Al-Harir Air Base, along with a US consulate. The Al-Harir Air Base was initially seized by US troops during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The US consulate serves Erbil, along with the three other Kurdistan provinces: Sulaimaniya, Duhok, and Halabja.

This is not the first time that a US installation in the region has been attacked. In September, an explosive drone attack took place near Erbil International Airport, where US troops were stationed. A few months earlier, in July, another drone attack took place at the airport and appeared to target US troops.